Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi on August 5th to discuss several issues, on top of which is the potential military operation against northern Syria.
This meeting comes following the Tehran summit, which was held within the framework of Astana Peace Talks with the participation of the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey on July 20-21.
For Erdogan, this meeting could be a chance to implement his threats to invade areas in northern Syria held by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) under the pretext of protecting Turkey’s “national security.”
The AANES was first formed in 2014 in the Kurdish-majority regions of Afrin, Kobani and Jazira in northern Syria following the withdrawal of the government forces. Later, it was expanded to Manbij, Tabqa, Raqqa, Hassakeh and Deir-ez-Zor after the SDF defeated ISIS militarily there.
Erdogan has recently announced plans to carry out another major military cross-border incursion into northern Syria. Erdogan specified his targets in the two northern Syrian cities of Manbij and Tel Rifaat.
On July 1st, Erdogan said that Ankara’s new military operation in northern Syria could begin at any moment.
Erdogan wants to get a green light or at least still a yellow light from Moscow because it has troops in Syria.
Observers see that Russia may diplomatically condemn the operation, but on the ground, it will not stand against the Turkish military because Moscow may calculate that a military operation would boost Erdogan’s reelection chances next year, which Russia would likely prefer to a new opposition party government in Ankara.
“I always say that we can start [the incursion] at any moment at night. We should not worry and rush, especially since we are working in the area,” Erdogan told reporters after returning from the NATO summit in Madrid.
This article was 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.