Jan 24 2018

Turkey will need Russia when Afrin endgame fails – Russian analyst

Turkey’s incursion on Syria’s Afrin will likely fail, then Turks and Kurds will need Russian assistance for peace in the region, according to a Russian analyst.

Vladimir Yevseyev, a security expert writing for the Russia’s Izvestia newspaper, said Turkey’s military operation was launched after provocations by the U.S. for Kurdish independence —a point shared by the Russian government.

Russia have criticised the supply of certain weapons, such as anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, to Syrian Kurdish militias. These weapons are the reason that Turkish army could only advance 5 kilometres in five days.

As the Kurdish establishment in northern Rojava province announced a massive mobilisation for Afrin’s defence, Turkey’s military operation will “inevitably drag on time and lead to significant casualties, including from the civilian population,” Yevseyev said.

The U.S. policy in providing arms to Syrian Kurds, under the pretext of the fight against the Islamic State, was to restrain Russia and Iran in Syria, Yevseyev said. But now, with Turkey being provoked, the Syrian Kurds’ chances to be invited Sochi, for a Russia-led peace process in Syria, are decreasing.

Most likely, the Turkish operation will gradually bog down and will not be able to achieve its goals. Then they will need Russian peacekeeping assistance in finding an acceptable compromise for the parties.