Military Review

Turkish etude Trump. Putin's turn

Well, we waited: after the Russian and Israeli experts, and in America, they started talking about the withdrawal of American troops as a “cunning move” aimed at confusing Russia with its allies in the region. And there are, of course, two key allies: Iran and Turkey. Retired US colonel Douglas Macgregor in an interview with Fox News said: “We must leave Northern Syria as soon as possible, because there are tens of thousands of Turkish soldiers who are ready to attack the Kurds - the terrorists who attacked Turkey in this area. We forced the Syrian government to enter the area, while we ourselves are leaving ... Putin will have to make a choice».

Such a touching unanimity of the expert community in this case does not seem to be stupid or stupid - an analysis of the situation shows that Russia still has cause for concern, and its behavior in the region should now become especially verified and far-sighted. There are hopes for this, in general: the Kremlin is conducting the Syrian “party” especially carefully and intelligently, but still it would not hurt us to understand what Moscow should do now and how it should try to avoid traps.

First of all, let us make one important clarification: of course, we are talking only about the possible deterioration of relations with Turkey. Cooperation with Iran is beyond threats and suspicions: there are many points of contact, few irritants and contradictions, some dependence of Iran under US sanctions. All this rather cements the relationship between the two countries, and the withdrawal of US units from Syria can only have a positive effect on them.

But with Turkey, the situation is quite different. And that is the goal of this geopolitical etude of the Americans.

First of all, we do not forget that Turkey is the most important, one of the key US allies in NATO. The strategic position of the country, which closes the entire Mediterranean direction for Russia, convenient control of key (for the Russian Federation) sea straits, a rather powerful army, armed according to NATO standards, a convenient location relative to such "sore points" of world geopolitics as the Middle East, Transcaucasia (and the entire Caucasus as such), the Caspian Sea basin, which is very rich in hydrocarbons — all of these factors, even without connecting with each other, allow Turkey to be considered one of the key footholds for the United States in Eurasia. Collectively, this makes Ankara a valuable ally for Washington, like the United Kingdom or Germany.

At the same time, the United States made a number of strategic miscalculations that nearly brought Turkey out of their undoubted influence. First of all, this is a bet on the Kurds in the Syrian conflict - Turkey hates and does not accept any, even the slightest, hint of independence or even autonomy of the Kurds. The fact is that the territory of Turkey largely consists of provinces inhabited by ethnic Kurds. The ethnic composition of Turkey for about 20% consists of Kurds, and more recently they are active, with weapons in the hands, fought for their independence. In general, the problem of the Kurds for Turkey is not at all an empty sound, and the recent bet on them overseas allies was rightly perceived in Ankara as a betrayal.

Do not forget about the attempted coup d'état in Turkey, the organizers of which, according to Ankara, are still hiding in the United States, and the process itself has not been without American special services. This, too, without any exaggeration, betrayal. Moreover, the one against whom the conspiracy was directed still leads Turkey and is unlikely to forget the incident so easily.

The events of recent years, when Turkey suddenly became closer to Russia, clearly showed the United States that they could lose this key ally. And the best way to do this is to continue to persist in its support of the Kurds, who have large armed formations almost at the border with Turkey. Probably, American analysts long ago pointed out to their leadership the destructiveness of such behavior, and then, finally, they were heard - the Americans, at least in words, "threw" the Kurds and untied their hands to improve their spoiled relations with Ankara.

Now, Russia faces a rather difficult choice: to take control of the Kurdish territories in northeastern Syria, at the risk of quarreling with Turkey, or leaving them there to fend for themselves. In the second case, unfortunately, under the likely Turkish control will be the main oil fields of Syria, and the most fertile land in the floodplain of the Euphrates River, as well as some large reservoirs on this river, which are able to somehow solve the already very acute water supply problem. of the republic. The cities of Membij (Manbij) and Raqqa (the recent “capital” of ISIL banned in Russia) are key to controlling the northeast of the country, and giving them away, Russia and its allies in Syria will lose the most significant chance of successfully rebuilding a state destroyed by civil war.

In part, we see that the process of occupying territories by Syrian troops has already begun - according to reports from Syria, units of the Syrian army have already occupied the city of Membij. And this was done at the call of the Syrian Kurds, who previously controlled this city. Unfortunately, there is no reliable information about the forces engaged in this regional center. But it seems that the Kurds have already secured a kind of buffer in the most threatened direction.

Incidentally, the head of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that the Turkish army could launch a military operation in the area of ​​Membij, if the units of the Kurds did not leave it. And their readiness to “hand over” the city to government departments is quite understandable: the Kurds are seriously counting on much greater loyalty to Damascus and, perhaps, even on granting autonomy within Syria. But it must be remembered that the withdrawal of US units from Syria has just begun, the United States is still quite able to control Kurdish territories, and how easily the transfer process of Membijah went through, fits into the scenario of a possible political trap for the Russian Federation.

Nevertheless, common sense suggests that the probability of domestication of the "Turkish Crane" is vanishingly small, and Moscow is probably better to focus on the "tit in the hand" that it receives. This is evident already now, when the USA and Turkey still seem to find some compromise on the supply to Ankara of the Patriot air defense system, as well as on the fulfillment of the contract for the delivery of F-35 fighter-bombers to Turkey. Yes, there’s a lot of examples to go: even our traditional “ally” Belarus is increasingly looking towards Europe, in every possible way emphasizing its independence from Moscow. Minsk did not support us even in such key issues as the return of the Crimea to the Russian Federation or the recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Is it worth hoping that an order of magnitude stronger and more authoritative Turkey will become an active conductor of Russian interests in the region?

It is clear that even the best relations with Turkey will not lead to the fact that it will firmly integrate into the wake of Moscow. Ankara is actively pursuing its sovereign policy, claiming rather the role of a regional superpower, rather than the status of a Russian ally.

And if so, we obviously do not have to make sacrifices in Syria for the illusion of a hypothetical Russian-Turkish alliance. Probably the best that Moscow can do is help Damascus in regaining control over the northeastern provinces and gradually bring Syria to the level of a more or less full-fledged and capable ally.

As for relations with Turkey, then, of course, it is not worth breaking them off. And ideally, it will be possible to regain control of the Kurdish lands without direct clashes with Turkish troops, even if they are clashes between the Syrian army or the Kurds themselves.

To this end, Moscow will have to show the real highest political pilotage, acting at the same time, quickly and accurately. And the military steps of Damascus should go hand in hand with the efforts of our diplomats and special services aimed at the soonest possible establishment of a political dialogue between the Kurds and Damascus.

That is, if to simplify, we need to act as quickly as possible, so that the Turks simply do not have time to strongly strengthen themselves in the Kurdish lands of northeastern Syria. And if this works out, the American plan will start working for Moscow - by controlling the Kurds, the Kremlin will receive an additional lever of pressure on Ankara.

But if Turkey gets everything that it wants, Russia in Syria will simply not be needed ...

Of course, we must not lose sight of the fact that the withdrawal of American units from Syria has not yet taken place. Alas, it can be suspended at any time, or even completely terminated. But now this may be another trump's internal political problem - the Democrats will not miss a chance to remind voters that it was they who opposed such a decision, and they would surely be able to beat the indecision of their sworn enemy in the media. Therefore, the study, conceived by Trump and his administration, with a not too good game, may turn out to be a trap into which the American strategists have driven themselves.

On the other hand, if Moscow and Ankara manage to quarrel quickly enough, and then leave the American troops in Syria (and the reason for this can always be found, especially against the background of aggravation of relations between the former partners of the anti-American coalition), we can state that The White House was completely successful, and the retreat was drawn by the Americans almost flawlessly.

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  1. Russia
    Russia 6 January 2019 06: 57
    "... But if Turkey gets everything it wants, Russia in Syria will simply not need it ..."

    Keywords. Cherry to the Turkish cake and tomatoes after this can become useless in our relations, not the price of the issue.
    1. Machito
      Machito 6 January 2019 13: 07
      Turkey - a regional superpower, dreaming of restoring former imperial greatness, is balancing between the USA and Russia. Cooperation with Russia brings Turkey huge economic benefits, increasing its power. The United States imposed economic sanctions on Turkey, bringing down the Turkish lira. Erdogan will not exchange cooperation with GDP for dubious American cookies and continue the policy of ours and yours. Syrian zugzwang USA lost in any way. The only question is whether they will be able to stay in Iraq?
    2. hydrox
      hydrox 8 January 2019 08: 05
      Quote: Rusland

      "... But if Turkey gets everything it wants, Russia in Syria will simply not need it ..."

      Posted by ku-ku ...
      Turkey in Syria will NEVER get EVERYTHING IT WANTS, otherwise Putin’s entire policy in the past 3 years should be considered one big mistake that Russia has risen too expensive to question the feasibility of leaving the Pr-v at its post. angry
      1. Oleg Lavrov
        Oleg Lavrov 9 January 2019 16: 13
        Keywords! Fuck these Kurds!
  2. Sars
    Sars 6 January 2019 07: 47
    Turkey is an ally of Russia! I didn’t hear a funnier joke. Ah, yet Israel and Azerbaijan.
    1. DMB_95
      DMB_95 6 January 2019 14: 11
      Quote: SarS
      Turkey is an ally of Russia! I didn’t hear a funnier joke. Ah, yet Israel and Azerbaijan.

      Of course, Turkey is not our ally, just some of our interests in the BV partially coincide with the Turkish ones, in this period of time. This can and should be used in our Russian interests. And about our true allies known to everyone for a long time.
      1. hydrox
        hydrox 8 January 2019 08: 09
        But Putin believes that liberoids are the real allies, and moreover, LOCOMOTIVES of the revival of Russia.
        Who will we trust? lol
    2. Awaz
      Awaz 7 January 2019 13: 08
      nevertheless, it’s better to have an ally with whom along the way only to achieve some goal, than seemingly always loyal, but constantly making tricks, it’s completely not the case.
      1. hydrox
        hydrox 8 January 2019 08: 11
        And what is your goal common with liberoids in Russia? Are you allies with them or HOW? negative
  3. Polymer
    Polymer 6 January 2019 08: 09
    controlling the Kurds, the Kremlin will receive an additional lever of pressure on Ankara.

    To control the Kurds is another suitcase without a handle. It seems that the Kremlin understands this. About 3 years ago, they drove themselves, even opened their own representative office in Moscow. But Moscow then preferred to negotiate with the Turks, and the Kurds predictably fell under the United States. And now, when the latter are ready to throw them - Moscow sent them again ... to Assad. And they went.
    Strange people after all, these Kurds. History has more than once provided them with a chance to create their own state, but they do not seem to want this very much ...
    1. The comment was deleted.
      1. Tatar 174
        Tatar 174 6 January 2019 10: 15
        Caps Lock does not turn off for you?
    2. Paranoid50
      Paranoid50 7 January 2019 01: 29
      Quote: Polymer
      these Kurds. History has more than once provided them with a chance to create their own state, but they do not seem to want this very much ...

      And here the fact is that "not every Kurd is a Kurd to another Kurd." laughing This topic has already acquired a beard, like Chernomor's. Syrian, Turkish, Iraqi Kurds - all have their own "cockroaches", and, accordingly, their own policy and strategy in the region. Some of them, as they say, are not up to fat, but someone is very even ... So they dress up to this day on the topic of which of them is "the most crazy". yes
      1. hydrox
        hydrox 9 January 2019 18: 37
        Great text!
        It remains only to pull the Kurds out of the tribal and tribal relations of almost the Stone Age and they could spoil the blood of the Sultan and make their own state, but they don’t know HOW, and they will deal with them one at a time: it’s like the fighting people, but they don’t know , what to want, but he has no leaders ...
  4. parusnik
    parusnik 6 January 2019 08: 56
    Turkey has a very strong position, behind its back NATO, if something goes wrong, it will turn to its partners in the military bloc for help ... And allies and partners will always support, there would be a reason ... A difficult question with the Kurds, providing them in the near future the time of autonomy is fraught ... The same Turkey, will declare autonomy a nest of terrorism and completely occupy this territory, and what they say, until the "bandits" are destroyed, we will not leave ... And they will destroy until all the oil is pumped out ... Turkey in Syria has exclusively its own interests ... They even divide terrorists into their own and not their own ... And Russia, Turkey, will soon not be needed, as soon as the Turkish Stream starts working and the Turks on the resale of Russian gas will have good dividends .. And to all the claims of Russia, to answer, we pay for gas accurately, we do not steal .. What are the problems ... And Turkish tomatoes will fall in price, which will be a blow to the Russian producer ... Energy resources for which are constantly growing in price. ..
    1. hydrox
      hydrox 8 January 2019 08: 15
      No need to talk nonsense: the Turks were allowed to sell only autumn-winter tomatoes and there are no competitors in Russia for these tomatoes.
      1. parusnik
        parusnik 8 January 2019 08: 31
        And I'm talking about these autumn-winter tomatoes and "talking nonsense" .... There are competitors for these tomatoes in Russia ... but they will not survive ...
        1. hydrox
          hydrox 8 January 2019 09: 24
          With such horse prices?
          Of course, they will not survive - there will be no buyers, and the liberoids are able to buy Israeli - no one forbade it! Eat plastic for health! laughing
  5. hevale
    hevale 6 January 2019 09: 04
    In part, we see that the process of occupying territories by the Syrian forces has already begun - according to reports from Syria, units of the Syrian army have already occupied the city of Mumbidge. Moreover, this was done at the call of the Syrian Kurds, who previously controlled this city.
    What is the city of Mambwich? Who is in the know? They joyfully told that a certain Syrian army entered Manbij.
    And it happened on December 28th. Manbridge January 3rd
    1. Paranoid50
      Paranoid50 7 January 2019 01: 32
      Quote: hevale
      What is the city of Mambwich? Who is in the know? They joyfully told that a certain Syrian army entered Manbij.

      And this is one and the same city. In different transcriptions, pronounced and written, respectively, in different ways. For example: Aleppo and Aleppo are the names of the same settlement.
      1. hevale
        hevale 7 January 2019 04: 42
        Only once. Arabic-Manbij. Kurdish-Mynbyj. Turkish-Münbich. What is a mambid?
  6. Status
    Status 6 January 2019 09: 22
    The main player in this combination is Israel .. And their goal is the destruction of Iran (supposedly turned into Iraq, etc.) .. Not casually Netanyahu, almost every day he calls and thanks God stopped skating in Moscow, how to work ..Oh guys, something is being plotted in BV.! And they want to bauld Russia again with Turkey and to whisper Iran under the guise of ..
    Be careful Putin, you’ve already dug up the cunning hole, don’t get caught ...
  7. rocket757
    rocket757 6 January 2019 09: 26
    Turks are a foe, always and in the future!
    They were situational fellow travelers, but this is very temporary.
    But now a more definite choice must be made.
    Boom to see.
  8. The comment was deleted.
  9. akm8226
    akm8226 6 January 2019 11: 12
    He said - after the Turks shot down our Sushka it was necessary to hell all the military airfields of Turkey at least - now there would be no questions. And the Turks would sit like mice under a broom, fearing a repetition. But our authorities do not have eggs.
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. Tank jacket
      Tank jacket 9 January 2019 11: 28
      You described the beginning of TMV with this comment, wave your saber?
  10. Nikolay R
    Nikolay R 6 January 2019 11: 28
    In my opinion, there is no trap for Russia here. Turkey will strangle the Kurds while they are independent of the Syrian government. And it will be right in its own way. But as soon as the Kurds recognize Assad’s power over them, the Turks will have no legitimate reasons to kill them, so to speak. That is, the Turks play the role of beaters and gatherers of the herd. And nothing more.
    1. VSrostagro
      VSrostagro 7 January 2019 14: 52
      The Turks are already crying, how can they live on without "legitimate reasons". lol
      INTERESTS there is an army, but laws do not order ... what to do now ...
      1. Nikolay R
        Nikolay R 7 January 2019 20: 43
        And then listen to V.V. Putin. And look into his mouth.
        1. Henderson
          Henderson 7 January 2019 23: 49
          Yeah, there are tomatoes in the mouth. Horrible power. This is despite the fact that the Turks control access to the Mediterranean Sea for Russia.
          1. Nikolay R
            Nikolay R 8 January 2019 11: 05
            There is an official agenda for finding the armies of different countries in Syria. Namely, this is the fight against terrorism. No one officially declares that he wants to take away part of the territory of Syria. For it will already be a clear aggression with far-reaching consequences. Turks equate Kurds with ISIS, and therefore strangle them. This is beneficial for Russia and Assad, as the Kurds seek to fragment Syria and create their own state in the occupied territories. And the Kurds have no choice. They either be defeated by the Turks or transfer the territory of legitimate authority. The main task of the Turks is to prevent the creation of a hostile Kurdish state at their side. Well, then they will most likely agree on mutually beneficial conditions. Something like this.
            1. Henderson
              Henderson 8 January 2019 13: 14
              In fact of the matter. The Turks will never return the buffer zone in Syria and Idlib to Assad. And this means the failure of the official goal of the Russian Federation in the form of "preserving territorial integrity."
              1. Nikolay R
                Nikolay R 8 January 2019 14: 02
                Never say never
  11. mehan
    mehan 6 January 2019 12: 07
    How many geopoliticians divorced here ..
  12. istoler
    istoler 6 January 2019 12: 55
    The author largely proceeds from a vision of +/- or 0/1.
    And diplomats work at fractional values ​​of 0,45 or degrees of freedom before 2000, conditionally there were 3 of them in Turkey before the USA, let's say 5. The international policy of Russia is that many important states increase their degree of freedom (sovereignty) then the USA does not have enough resources and a chain reaction of liberation from hegemon will take place.
    Relations with Turkey are a vivid example of this. The gas pipeline increases the power of the economy, With 400 the strength of the army, the defeat of the top of the Turkish army after the coup that served the United States for the entire 20th century, gives Erdogan internal political independence.
    The freer a country is from the United States, the easier it is for Russia to come to an agreement with it. While Turkey hesitated 2014-2018 in relations with the United States, Russia untied several Syrian knots.
  13. bratchanin3
    bratchanin3 6 January 2019 13: 30
    Your words, dear author, but Putin’s ears.
    1. hydrox
      hydrox 8 January 2019 08: 20
      No words, no ears will have power there :: other methods of influence and other sensory organs ... lol
  14. The comment was deleted.
    1. Bigbraza
      6 January 2019 15: 11
      Quote: scorpio 47
      Russia’s good allies are Turkey and Iran. Especially Iran is a terrorist state sponsoring all terrorists in the Middle East.
      No others.
      Tell me who your friend is and it will become clear who you are.

      And the United States as an ally, Ukraine is a Nazi state. Too much says, do not find?
      1. akims
        akims 6 January 2019 17: 10
        And what is the US state?
        1. hydrox
          hydrox 8 January 2019 08: 23
          Sponsor of terrorists and initiator of any instability of a long-term conflict nature.
    2. Kornvoli
      Kornvoli 7 January 2019 01: 38
      Quote: scorpio 47

      Russia’s good allies are Turkey and Iran. Especially Iran is a terrorist state sponsoring all terrorists in the Middle East.
      No others.

      "All terrorists"))) Sponsored by Qatar, the United States and Saudi Arabia. Including those who operate on the territory of the Russian Federation. So yes. No others
  15. arcgrz
    arcgrz 6 January 2019 16: 06
    Israel’s affairs are bad .. it’s not possible to quarrel Turkey, Syria and Russia .. heh heh
    what current do not invent.
  16. gridd
    gridd 7 January 2019 05: 29
    So-so analytics, to be honest. Kurds are not a single ethnic group, but four different - Syrian, Turkish, Iranian, Iraqi. Everyone has their own interests and complete reluctance to fit in with others without benefit for themselves. The presence of predominantly tribal relations, the reluctance to negotiate and, most importantly, to fulfill the obligations undertaken at least among themselves - this is the main reason why the Kurds do not and will not have their own state in the foreseeable future.
  17. KURT330
    KURT330 7 January 2019 10: 36
    Quote: SarS
    Turkey is an ally of Russia! I didn’t hear a funnier joke. Ah, yet Israel and Azerbaijan.

    What does Azerbaijan have to do with it? Who said that Azerbaijan is an ally of Russia? Azerbaijan is a strategic partner of Russia. Well, to be honest, all these terms and phrases are not worth the ink with which they are written. We don’t ally with anyone at all; Azerbaijan adheres to the policy of non-alignment. The Russian media often write that Azerbaijan aspires to NATO, this is an erroneous opinion of scribes who do not know about us at all.
  18. iouris
    iouris 7 January 2019 14: 16
    What are "cranes" and "tits"? The Russian Federation has no allies. However, no one has them. The main thing is to understand and formulate your interests, correctly prioritize, allocate resources, and timely solve tactical tasks. The main problems are not outside, but inside.
  19. VSrostagro
    VSrostagro 7 January 2019 15: 13
    Yes, the situation is much more complicated, but there are no and cannot be allies in the Middle East. But this is particular.
    Thanks to the author for the article.
  20. 16112014nk
    16112014nk 8 January 2019 12: 15
    If Turkey is clearly against Russia, officially shut down tourism to Turkey by decision of the government.
  21. Mikhail3
    Mikhail3 8 January 2019 13: 18
    Why does the author think that Turkey wants these Syrian territories? Where such confidence? Well, let's say Turkey gets them. And with them? And together she gets thousands of armed, mobilized Kurds with military experience. Who are trying their best to build their state on the Syrian and Turkish lands, and together with the lands "acquired" by Turkey, the Kurds have under their control the money machine - the oil-bearing region. That's the acquisition! Just a present ...
  22. Kostadinov
    Kostadinov 8 January 2019 18: 21
    on the other hand, if Moscow and Ankara manage to quarrel quite quickly

    Then both Moscow and Ankara will lose. But in Moscow and in Ankara, people in power are not stupid, and they are very quickly told.