Observers have downplayed the possibility that the Turkish regime will resort to imposing what it calls a “safe zone” within the Syrian border at a depth of 30 kilometres, as its president Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested a few days ago. This skepticism is due to the lack of appropriate regional and international conditions for the plan. They expected the Turkish army to carry out a limited-scale and rolling military operation if any decision is made.
In statements to Al-Watan, observers of the situation in north and northeast Syria ruled out the possibility that international actors — especially the countries active in the Syrian file — would allow Erdogan to carry out his threats. This is especially true after Washington expressly rejected the Turkish escalation and Russia took positions on the ground against it. The United Nations also announced, in the words of the UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, that Syria “does not need military operations; rather, it needs a political solution and more humanitarian assistance.”
Observers stressed that the “media frenzy” of the Erdogan regime will hide the spotlight and psychological impact over time, looking towards the horizon of receiving a green light from Moscow and Washington to continue carrying out Turkey’s aggressive expansionist threats on Syrian territory. These efforts are aimed at re-engineering Syrian demographics according to Turkey’s whims and electoral objectives, while also blackmailing NATO, the United States, and Russia. Erdogan believes that these parties are unable to curb his reckless ambitions to engage in the Ukrainian war — contrary to the reality of the situation and what exists in Turkey’s areas of influence on Syrian territory.
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The observers downplayed Erdogan’s expected removal of Turkish National Security Council approval — during the council’s meeting on Thursday — to carry out a new cross-border military operation and establish a “safe” and “secure” zone. They described the gambit as merely “media propaganda,” which would not give Turkey legitimacy or sufficient force to move recklessly beyond the red lines drawn for it by the guarantors of the Russia-U.S. ceasefire agreement in north and northeast Syria.
They added that the safe zone — which Erdogan is now promising — won’t be able to implement his ideas, since it has failed to create the conditions for its establishment since the initiative’s launch in 2016. They also consider that Erdogan’s audacity to launch a military operation to cut off Syrian territory at the expense of the Syrian Democratic Forces separatist militias still exists, because of the militia’s lobbying in Washington — which knows nothing but its interests, the separation from the Syrian body, and the protector of the country’s unity, the Syrian Arab Army.
The observers expected that the Turkish aggression, if Erdogan takes the decision of war, will begin from border areas and a narrow strip starting from Hassakeh governorate. The process will slowly roll forward, after measuring regional and international reactions and testing the stability and breadth of Moscow and Washington’s anti-military stance. This is because there is absolutely no interest in all the countries active in the Syrian file in starting a war, which strengthens Erdogan’s elusive plans, trades on humanitarian issues, and achieves his narrow personal interests.
The observers pointed to Erdogan’s inability to maintain security even within the Syrian areas that he currently occupies, with the help of his mercenaries. This is evident in the perennial state of insecurity that has existed, as confirmed by the fighting of Erdogan’s mercenaries yesterday that took place inside the city of Ras al-Ain. The fighting extended to the city of Afrin, despite the intervention of the Turkish occupation army to help the mercenaries.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.