Former Arab partners abandoned Erdoğan in Syria – DW

A range of Arab states that once joined Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in supporting the Syrian opposition have left him alone in the country amid Russia-backed Syrian government forces offensive in Idlib, Deutsche Welle reported on Saturday.

The Arab countries are quietly brokering new ties with Syria's Bashar Assad as a three-month-long Russian and Syrian offensive deals a heavy blow to the Turkish military, it said.

An airstrike in northwestern Syria by Syrian government forces late Thursday inflicted significant casualties on Turkish forces stationed there, killing at least 36 and raising fears of direct conflict between Turkey and Moscow. 

Turkey requested an urgent NATO security meeting after the attack. The alliance, while condemning the air strikes, did not lay out any changes to its current security arrangement in the area.

The Arab League recognised the Syrian political opposition coalition in 2013, DW said, but Qatar remains the only country that is Ankara’s firm ally in the fight.

Turkey was once at the helm of a coalition that included 65 countries, such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE that supported Erdoğan in his political and military intervention in Syria, the article said.

But Member countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, it said, have been wary of Turkey's ambitions as it expands its military footprint in Syria, Iraq and across North Africa.

Some of the nations are following the footsteps of Washington in withdrawing from Syria, while others simply dislike Erdoğan's relations with their regional rival Iran, DW said.

Erdoğan now "stands alone facing a superpower like Russia and an experienced Syrian army on Syrian soil," DW quoted Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of the London-based online Arabic daily Rai al-Youm, as saying. "His position is critical."

Ankara is banking on a deal with Russia in the Syria quagmire, it said.

"The blow Ankara has received was painful and any false steps in its response will have major repercussions for Turkey,"  Turkish political analyst Taha Odehoglu told Deutsche Welle. "It does not want to lose its relationship with Russia … Turkey is tending toward striking an agreement to make a compromise to deescalate the crisis."