The terrorist attack in Ankara, whose victims were about a hundred people with hundreds of wounded, diverted media attention from Russia's military operation in Syria, which has become routine for them.
Intimidation of possible losses, demands of jihad, outrage over the passage of Russian missiles a few miles from the American drone, the threat to stop buying gas and refusing to build a nuclear power plant look inadequate regardless of whether they are voiced by Americans, Saudis or Turks. And the sympathies of the public, they can not bring to those who voiced them, nor those who ordered them.
Refugees, hundreds of thousands of whom suddenly overwhelmed Europe, are raising great fears among its inhabitants. And to bomb Assad under the pretext that it is necessary that they stop arriving there, Russia does not allow. Because large-scale provocation with mass immigration did not bring the desired results.
Another thing is a terrorist attack. Win-win business. The victims cause so much sympathy, and the terrorists are outraged because the rally that was blown up was for peace. The voiced list of structures that, in the opinion of the Turkish leadership, may be behind the terrorist attack, includes everyone who is suspicious, we’ve lumped it all together, then we’ll see. At the same time, no one asked why, in fact, they needed a terrorist attack, the only beneficiary of which before the impending parliamentary elections is the country's leadership. It received a blank check on any actions against those who would be declared supporters of the radicals. Naturally, the MIT Turkish security service is missing from the list of suspects, although, due to the strangeness of the motives, the incident very much resembles the recent terrorist attack in Surush, which started a new round of Erdogan’s war against the Kurds.
The author is not a supporter of conspiracy theories. However, he is not aware of the terrorist attacks, all the more so resonant, for which no one would take responsibility, unless they are organized as a political provocation. And here the difference between the recent explosion in Ankara and the burning of the Berlin Reichstag, from his point of view, is not great. Elections in Turkey on the nose. The likelihood that Erdogan will achieve on them the results that he needs to maintain the monopoly on power by the Party of justice and development (AKP) is small. He has too many enemies, and his assets have too many turns and mistakes, the main one of which was participation in the Syrian civil war on the side of the opponents of Assad in alliance with Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, the Arabian monarchies successfully gave Turkey the opportunity to try on the role of a front-line state with all the threats and costs inherent in this status, including the problem of refugees.
For all their significance for the formation of the Russian strategy in Syria of the American and French-British factors, they are still secondary. Real threats are associated with activity in the Syrian direction of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Especially the latter, since Erdogan has nowhere to retreat. The border with Syria and Syrian refugees on its territory are permanent factors. The flow of terrorists to Syria goes mainly through Turkey. Oil trading, which provides the bulk of the income of the Islamic State, is also conducted through Turkey. And if Assad’s army and its allies control the border, and the city of Raqqa, through which the oil flows, will be lost by the IS (regardless of who occupies it), the project of overthrowing Assad in favor of the Islamists will finally fail, the sacrifices made by Erdogan will vain and his reputation, and also, more importantly for him, the power can be dealt a fatal blow.
All that is acquired by excessive work
The volume of bilateral trade and the intensity of passenger traffic between Russia and Turkey are two orders of magnitude higher than between Russia and Qatar or Saudi Arabia. Taking into account stories bilateral relations, Turkey’s participation in NATO, the level of training and combat experience of the Turkish Armed Forces, official Ankara’s position on Crimea, the straits factor, as well as the personal characteristics of the country's president, the assessment of the Turkish component of the war in Syria is of particular importance for understanding the development prospects of the situation in this country. Considering it, based on the data of experts IBI Yu. B. Shcheglovina and V.I. Kovalev, which testify: the military operation of Russia in Syria had a very negative impact on the development of Turkey’s strategy and tactics on the Syrian direction.
For the United States, it has become a challenge to their dominant role in the world, but for Ankara, everything is much more mundane. Achieved a month ago, the US-Turkish agreement to lease the US Air Force base "Incirlik" was not easy for Ankara. President Erdogan had to literally step on his throat in order to conduct constructive negotiations with the Americans. But the delay was fraught with the loss of a strategic initiative. Throughout the spring and summer, Ankara, Doha and Riyadh agreed on the contours of the compromise and the division of the “zones of responsibility” of the groups under their control. It was about the general offensive against Damascus and the end of the era of the rule of Assad. For this, Saudi Arabia agreed with the demand of Qatar and Turkey to recognize the Muslim Brotherhood’s right to participate in the political life of Syria. This led to the capture by pro-Saud groups of Idlib, and by pro-Cathar and pro-Turkish (including IG) access to operational positions in northern Aleppo.
At the end of the summer, the Kurdish militia launched an offensive against Rakka. This forced the Turks and Qatari to change tactics, which superimposed on the failure of Erdogan’s party in the parliamentary elections. It was planned that the outbreak of hostilities against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) would raise a wave of nationalism in Turkish society and reduce the result of the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democracy Party (MHP) S. Demirtas in the upcoming parliamentary elections. In addition, the PKK fighters, who play a major role in the Kurdish areas of Syria, were detained on the “Turkish front”. However, the fierce resistance of the Kurds disrupted Erdogan’s hopes for a quick victory. This was his first mistake. The second was that he decided: after the “gift” of the United States in the form of renting the Incirlik Air Force Base, they would go to Ankara’s request for assistance in creating a “buffer zone” on the border with Syria, and in the future - to create a “no-fly zone” . The first took place de facto. In the second he was denied.
At present, the Americans who are passionate about the propaganda war with Russia are ready to support the Kurds in the attack on Rakka. This scenario is deadly for Erdogan. His entire combination with Qatar was undertaken to provide, through the creation of a “buffer zone,” channels of material and technical assistance to IS and pro-Turkish groups in Syria. Taking Rakka this scheme destroys. Recall that after the terrorist attack in Surush in the Kurdish camp, for which the Turks laid the blame on the IS, the Turkish Air Force did not bomb the IS positions, but focused on the PKK detachments. Yes, and the IG did not respond to the beginning of the "campaign of retaliation" against him by Turkey. Moreover, with the assistance of the Turks, the Jabhat al-Nusra detachments went beyond the “buffer zone”, and the militants of the IS took their place. Despite the fact that at the request of Ankara, the US planes did not bomb either of the others.
Erdogan’s third mistake was that he believed that Moscow was ready to surrender Assad. From here followed all his other miscalculations, including an alliance with Qatar, which was formed on the basis of unity of goals in the Syrian and Libyan directions. If Raqqa is taken, the positions of the prokatarsky IS in Syria, and then in Iraq, will sharply weaken. Turkey abandoned the project of training the forces of the “new Syrian opposition” together with the United States six months ago, blocking it and starting a program of self-training for Qatari money. Now Ankara will have to start all over again, preparing its own militants, which can be presented to the world as a “moderate opposition”.
Erdogan in October
For this, Erdogan was forced to begin negotiations with the EU. The official purpose of his visit was to enlist the support of Europeans in minimizing the negative outcome of the migration crisis that swept Europe, although the Turkish president provoked the crisis himself, trying to reduce voter discontent with the presence of a huge number of Syrian and other refugees in the country. The blackmail of Brussels was a success, the EU agreed to finance the creation of new refugee camps in Turkey. This will allow financing the training of new recruits for Islamist structures, since refugee camps are the best place to recruit new “volunteers”. However, Ankara will become more active in this area only if the parliamentary elections of November 1 are “satisfactory” for the AKP.
However, the results of Erdogan's visit to Brussels 5 – 6 of October of this year are dual. The Europeans agreed to allocate to him about two billion euros for the resettlement of refugees in Turkey, forcing him to commit to accept migrants from the ships intercepted by the EU ships. Moreover, European politicians are discussing the deportation of thousands of refugees back to 400. However, Turkey did not promise to accept everyone, but to prove that the refugees arrived from Turkish territory is unrealistic. In addition, the expulsion of refugees is associated with serious legal conflicts and requires the adoption of new EU laws. By the way, having provoked a massive outflow of refugees, Erdogan weakened the Islamist opponents of Assad, seriously reducing the base for recruiting new volunteers in the camps. And many of those who fought in Syria decided to become “internally displaced persons” in Europe.
But the Turkish president also came to Brussels to work on the issue of supporting plans to create a “buffer zone of security” from the Turkish border to Aleppo, including the “no-fly zone”. The basis of this plan is, in addition to the creation of rear bases of pro-Turkish groups in the north of Syria, an attempt to disrupt the organization of Kurdish autonomy on its borders. The Europeans promised to "discuss" the project. A day later, German Chancellor A. Merkel said that "she does not see Turkey as a member of the EU." The United States has officially declared that they do not see "logistics and technical capabilities" for organizing a "security zone", including a "no-fly zone." This decision was clearly strengthened after the attack by Russian cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea on the targets of terrorists in Syria. Fortunately, the only force the Americans can rely on in the attack on Cancer is the Kurds. And they will ignore Erdogan’s opinion on this matter.
The Turkish president is suspicious and annoying in both Brussels and Washington. Ankara initiative failed. Europe and the United States are not ready to quarrel with Russia on the Syrian platform for the sake of Turkish ambitions and Turkey remains isolated in this connection, especially if Qatar decides to phase out its IS project in Syria (IG has recently been actively relocated to Pro-Gang groups in Libya). Turkish MIT will build up subversive activities in Syria, including against the Russian military. But in the case of taking Raqqah and establishing control over the northern provinces, the Kurds will become a buffer for this activity. As for Erdogan, his position may seriously weaken after summing up the parliamentary elections, in which the AKP most likely will not be able to get an absolute majority of votes.
AKP Chairman Ahmet Davutoglu presented an updated election program only on October 4. Programs for the upcoming November 1 elections will be of secondary importance, especially since the previous elections were held recently - June 7. The PSR program - “Roadmap to peace and stability in Turkey” - is the same, it was only called “They say what the AKP does”. The shortcomings revealed in the Turkish parliamentary system of power, which has existed for almost a hundred years, are emphasized, the adoption of a new constitution and a transition to a presidential form of government is required. Plans for a Kurdish settlement, despite the escalation of tensions, have not been removed from the agenda and have not been adjusted. It is planned to revise the structure of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, increasing the role of parliament in the judicial system. In this regard, the opposition accuses the AKP of intending to finally crush the judicial system. The only thing that was audited was the economy, adjusted for the exchange rate of the national currency and inflation.
What is the goal of the AKP, which updated the list of candidates for 70 percent, in the upcoming “re-election” of November 1? Forget about 400 seats in parliament, which were the aim of the AKP in the last election. Her task is to add 18 seats to get a simple majority in parliament, the Majlis, with a total of at least 276. Until recently, the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democracy Party (PDN), which overcame the 10 percent electoral barrier, was considered as a source of missing votes. However, opinion polls did not reveal a drop in the popularity of PDN and its leader S. Demirtas, despite an attack by official media, while the AKP ratings remain at 40 percent, repeating the results of the June 7 election. So with regard to the Kurds, aggressive rhetoric will increase as the elections approach. Moreover, the state of emergency in the eastern and southeastern provinces gives rise to the leadership of the country through the Supreme Electoral Council of Turkey to unite and crush polling stations in this region, gaining votes in their favor.
As a result, the AKP switched to other opposition movements, in particular the Republican People’s Party (NPP) and its leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu. A special role in this regard for the Nationalist Movement Party (PND), Devlet Bakhcheli, which is more suitable for the AKP as a partner in terms of the moderately Islamic views of its electorate. Until recently, they were divided by the Kurdish issue, which the AKP brought to the internal political agenda of the country, but today this problem is removed from the agenda. The possibility of their convergence was secured after the son of the founder of the IPA, Turgul Turksh, entered the interim government, left his party and became a candidate for the AKP. This transition is important from the point of view of overstretching a part of the PND electorate towards the AKP.
Anyway, the parliamentary elections in Turkey are approaching and the further strategy of Erdogan in the Syrian direction largely depends on their results. In the meantime, judging by the latest information, field commanders fighting against Assad in Syria have received consent from the curators in Riyadh and Doha to supply the latest generation of MANPADS to them. Among the main recipients are the detachments “Jabhat al-Nusra”, “Ahrar al-Sham” and the remnants of the Syrian Free Army (FSA), based in southern Syria - in the area of Hama and Homs. The operational units of the General Intelligence Agency (RBD) KSA will take over the supply and supply of MANPADS, and the operatives of the Turkish MIT special services will transfer the MANPADS from Turkey to the north of Syria. They will be engaged in the study of the technical and logistical aspects of these operations.
The question of Jordan’s position remains open. The initial consultations of the Saudis in Amman did not lead to a positive result for them. Amman is cautious about the prospect of turning Jordan into a rear base for the transfer of MANPADS systems to Syria, believing that this could lead to the spread of violence to the territory of the kingdom. Moreover, the local population is not too loyal to the royal power, sympathizing with the IG. According to experts, the supply of MANPADS, if the Americans close their eyes to them, will restore the balance of power on the fronts.
Western analysts also point out that Russian airstrikes aviation in Syria - the preparation of a ground operation by government forces, Iranians, Iraqi and Lebanese Shiite police. Detachments of Afghan Hazaras will also be thrown into the battle, who will begin to clear the liberated areas and stand in them with garrisons and roadblocks. There are three possible directions for the upcoming offensive: north of Homs, the Al-Gab region and the mountainous regions northwest of Hama, as well as the Kveiris air force base, which is blocked by Islamists. The environment of the militants in the Khomsk pocket eliminates the threat of their attack on Homs and Hama. Through the Al-Gab region, the army enters the operational space for the liberation of the city of Jisr al-Shugur, which is the gateway to Latakia, which removes the threat of an Islamist offensive from the Idlib bridgehead. The fighting for the Kveyris Air Force Base is of great importance for raising the morale of Assad’s army.
Consultations of the Kurdish militia command in Damascus about supporting their actions against the IG by Russian aviation give additional impetus to the US in a short time to organize an attack on Raqa by the forces of the 20 of the thousandth Kurdish militia and the five thousand Turkoman police. This allows Russia to use the hands of the United States to undermine the IG’s position in Syria, at the same time complicating Washington’s relations with Ankara. Moreover, if the States close their eyes to delivering MANPADS to Islamists through Turkey, and information about the indirect participation of American security forces or their inaction is leaked to the media, the damage caused to the Democratic Party and its candidates by the start of the election campaign will be great. That for President B. Obama is quite important.
Let us pay attention to the redeployment of the US Command Combined Joint Special Operations Operations Force-Syria (CJSOTF-S) to the Al-Udeid base in Qatar. Officially, it is subject to the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), whose competence includes training and equipping militants of the Syrian opposition. It is known that the CJSOTF-S command center in Qatar will coordinate deliveries from the USA and from Pentagon bases weapons for opponents of al-Assad. Funding for these operations took over Riyadh. The headquarters will also take over the synchronization of the ground forces of the opposition with the actions of the 39 th wing of the US Air Force, which is based on the Incirlik base in Turkey. That is, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United States are heading for large-scale promotion of subversive activities in Syria, which does not cancel the onset of the Kurdish militia on Raqqa. In the end, how it will be with the overthrow of Assad after the appearance of the Russian videoconferencing system in Syria is unknown, and we have to demonstrate war against Islamists to Congress ...