Arab diplomatic sources in Ankara revealed that the President of the Turkish regime, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, can no longer solve in the foreseeable future the most prominent internal problem in his country related to the issue of Syrian refugees. He cannot resolve this issue without rapprochement with Damascus under Russian auspices. This rapprochement carries many “temptations” that cannot be sacrificed in light of the closure of the option of launching aggression on Syrian territory to establish what he called the “safe zone” to deport them ahead of the June 2023 elections.
The sources confirmed, in statements to Al-Watan, that the Turkish regime’s option to launch aggression to cut a border strip 30 kilometres deep inside Syrian territory is still on the table inside the corridors of the Turkish military institution, but its high cost at all levels favours the continuation of the path of the Erdogan regime’s rotation towards rapprochement with Damascus to address the problems of border security and the issue of Syrian refugees before the elections. Getting rid of refugees at all costs is vital for winning the votes of citizens opposed to their presence inside Turkey. This is what Ankara hopes for from Russian mediation away from the battlefield.
The sources said that it is likely to accelerate the pace of Syrian-Turkish security negotiations in the near future to reach “understandings” to find a breach that will lead to the revival of the political space between the two countries. The security and diplomatic movement in the corridors of Turkish decision-making during the past three months has not been reflected positively enough in terms of improving the relationship with the Syrian leadership.
The sources pointed out that the Syrian leadership does not trust Erdogan, who always seeks to achieve gains without making substantial concessions. However, his fall into the trap of his internal elections forced him to maneuver by preparing Turkish public opinion to accept reconciliation with Damascus. Campaigns and media statements from his officials that do not respond to the demands of Damascus, which insists on implementing the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation from Syrian territory and stopping Ankara’s support for terrorist organizations as a prelude to the return of relations between the two countries to their previous status quo from before 2011.
The sources considered that it is in the interest of the Erdogan regime to open up to Syria, as well as neighbouring countries, and to divert the course of security negotiations with them to the political track, all the while waiting for the appropriate conditions to find a breach in which it also expands the circle of rotation towards Damascus by accelerating the opening of channels of communication with it as soon as possible.
In parallel, a well-informed Kurdish source close to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militias revealed on Tuesday that the SDF, at the push of the United States, which supports it, refuses to hand over the areas it controls in northern and northeastern Syria. U.S. occupation forces are also deployed in the area, and they refuse to hand them over to the Syrian Arab Army and official members of the state.
The Kurdish website Basnews quoted the source as saying that Russia is trying to force the SDF to hand over executive power in the areas it controls to the Syrian government, but “the Americans reject this scenario.”
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.