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Damascus Gate is an Urgent Need for Erdogan Administration

Erdogan's desire to realign with Moscow and Tehran within the Astana framework reflects efforts to address the Syrian refugee crisis in Turkey, al-Watan says.
Damascus Gate is an Urgent Need for Erdogan Administration

Sources monitoring the relationship between Damascus and Ankara informed Al-Watan that leaks from U.S. sources suggest the Biden administration’s intent to expedite recognition of a Kurdish “canton” in northeastern Syria. This move, under the auspices of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) supported by Washington, is purportedly aimed at influencing the upcoming U.S. presidential elections in November. Such a development could potentially prompt the Erdogan administration to re-engage with the Syrian leadership, seeking increased coordination in this contentious matter to avert drastic measures.

According to these sources, the evolving situation and these leaked intentions may compel the Erdogan administration to once again approach Damascus, irrespective of any lingering distrust, in a bid to navigate Ankara out of the confusion resulting from Erdogan’s perceived prioritization of personal interests over those of the nation vis-à-vis neighbouring Syria. This prioritization has plunged relations between the two nations into a precarious state, prompting Erdogan’s administration to seek a path toward mutual geopolitical stability, security, and military cooperation with the Syrian leadership.

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The sources highlight Turkey’s primary concern as securing its southern borders, be it in northeastern Syria under SDF control or the northwestern region where Jabhat al-Nusra’s presence looms large. Erdogan’s apparent distancing from the latter, amidst public discontent in Idlib and the western countryside of Aleppo demanding liberation from its grip, underscores the complexity of Ankara’s strategic imperatives.

They further suggest that Ankara may find itself compelled to diverge from the policies of Washington and certain European capitals regarding Damascus, in favour of advancing the political process and initiating steps towards lifting unilateral sanctions on the Syrian capital.

Moreover, the regional and international dynamics seem to constrain Erdogan’s options for direct intervention in Syrian territory to counter the SDF threat along the Turkish border. Ankara also seeks to mend ties with the Kremlin, strained by diverging policies on key issues such as Ukraine and Syria.

Erdogan’s desire to realign with Moscow and Tehran within the Astana framework reflects efforts to address the Syrian refugee crisis in Turkey, especially amid signals of European countries mulling reconciliation with Damascus on this front. There’s a recognition of the need to bolster cooperation with Syria’s neighbours to make headway on this pressing issue, compounded by Turkey’s economic woes, including a plummeting lira and the urgent imperative to tackle the refugee challenge, notwithstanding its potential electoral ramifications. The recent municipal elections, where opposition parties capitalized on the Syrian refugee issue to secure key municipalities like Istanbul and Ankara, have underscored the urgency for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to address these multifaceted challenges.


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.

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