Turkey, Russia and Iran are breaking up over Syria - analyst

The alliance between Russia, Iran and Turkey as guarantors of a cease-fire agreement in Syria — The ‘Astana Troika’ — is in danger of breaking up, a political analyst said.

Jacob L. Shapiro, a former Stratfor analyst, wrote in the U.S. online magazine Geopolitical Features that the agreement is failing because the interests of the three parties for a favourable outcome in Syria never really matched.

Shapiro said:

Turkey’s ideal political solution sees (Syrian President Bashar) Assad removed and the country stitched back together under Sunni aegis.

Iran’s ideal political solution sees Assad restored but dependent on Iran and its proxies for survival.

Russia’s ideal political solution is any that makes it appear strong and keeps Assad as a somewhat independent actor, neither dependent on Tehran nor fearful of Ankara’s next move.

The differences of opinion between the parties grew wider in the first few weeks of January when Russian military bases were attacked by extremist jihadist groups who operated from areas under Turkey’s control.

The coming Sochi Congress on Syria’s future, scheduled for Jan. 29-30, is set to be tense, Shapiro said. Syrian-Kurdish militia say Russia has invited them despite Turkey’s strong opposition.

Ankara has been backed into a corner and does not have the required strength to preserve its interests, Shapiro said.

“Turkey is searching for a way to stop Assad, and if it can’t find one, it will be on the losing end of this breakup,” he said.