Paradoxically, the decision to pull out from Syria and the rebooting of the Turkish-American alliance can only improve the US’ capacity to influence the Syrian peace process, and regional politics in general.
On the diplomatic front, it is obvious that Washington’s efforts have run aground to drive a wedge between Turkey on one side and its Russian and Iranian allies on the other by luring Erdogan to reach an understanding regarding the US’ long-term presence in Syria.
Soros’ retreat from Turkey might be a harbinger of what’s to come because President Erdogan commands tremendous respect among the international Muslim community or “Ummah”, so other Muslim governments might be inspired by his leadership in fearlessly calling out the “Open Society Foundation” and seek to emulate his example.
Israel, the GCC, and the US all share common strategic interests in the Kurdish-controlled regions of northeastern Syria vis-à-vis Turkey, so Ankara has every reason to suspect that they might be jointly plotting against it from that part of its neighboring country. Serious concerns about this long-term strategic scenario might therefore help explain Turkey’s reorientation away from the West.
Much water has flown down the Euphrates since the 9th round of the Astana Process took place in May. Six months is a long time in politics – especially in Middle East politics. But, paradoxically, while Middle Eastern politics is in turmoil, the prospects for peace in Syria may have improved.
Turkey is beginning to feel like its notional American “ally” is “containing” it despite the incipient rapprochement that the two Great Powers are presently involved in, and it thinks that blustering against what it suspects are the US-backed plans of its Greek and Cypriot neighbors will scare them off and succeed in calling the US’ bluff.
Although several peace projects are currently circulating in the chanceries, they are not adequate for this sort of war. Those who begin with an amputated analysis of the conflict, yet still believe they are doing the right thing, will not only fail to resolve the problem, but will pave the way for a new war. It is imperative to treat the ideological question as a priority.
The New Yorker report by Dexter Filkins, a Pulitzer Prize winner and acclaimed author with long experience in reporting from the frontlines of Middle Eastern hotspots, concludes: “Even if—especially if—M.B.S. hangs on to his position, it seems likely that the Saudi royal family, and Saudi Arabia more generally, are entering a dangerous period.”
The disaster visiting the Armenians was not a local or isolated event. It was the result of a premeditated decision taken by a central body… and the immolations and excesses which took place were based on oral and written orders issued by that central body.
The quadrilateral summit in Istanbul on Syria has endorsed the political advances of Russia, but has decided nothing. Moscow gave its Turkish, French and German partners a lesson on the situation. The allies of Washington are having a hard time digesting their defeat and drawing its conclusions.
The bottom line is that it is the post-war Syrian order that is under discussion now. However, it must be understood as well that the proxy war is not ending but is rather morphing into the diplomatic war that lies ahead, which of course will be keenly fought, given the divergent interests of the foreign protagonists.
The US-backed alliance between Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Israel and Egypt to contain Iran does not make a new regional order. Erdogan will now assert Turkey’s leadership role in the Muslim Middle East. Importantly, he is known to champion the Muslim Brotherhood as the charioteer of a New Middle East.