Showing posts with label Arab Spring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arab Spring. Show all posts

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Erdogan's advisor: Turkiye needs full control over Syria's Aleppo to solve refugee issue

    Thursday, January 12, 2023   No comments

Erdogan’s desire to unload Syrian refugees and address the emerging autonomous Kurdish state along its border with Syria is forcing him to rush for a solution that would involve reconciliation with the Syrian government.

In the past few weeks alone, the Turkish leader sent out his defense minister and head of intelligence to meet their Syrian counterparts in Russia. Turkish leaders then announced plans to for the foreign ministers to meet soon to pave the way for a historical summit between Erdogan and Assad. All these changes are driven by Erdogan’s fear that economic hardships, volatile border with Syria, and large Syrian population in Turkey will limit his chances of winning another term and derail his party’s ambitions to keep a decisive plurality in the parliament.

However, given the role Erdogan played in supporting the Syrian armed factions who wanted, and still want, to overthrow the Syrian government, neither Assad is eager to meet him and many of his party leaders and advisors are unwilling to give up their dream of Syria controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies. This split among Turkey’s Islamists is reminding observers of their ideology-driven campaign to fuel a war in Syria designed to overthrow the government no matter what the human and economic costs. Nothing more telling of this ideological and sectarian impulse than the chain of events that lead to the recent revelations that Turkey should aim to control Aleppo and use it to resettle Syrian refugees instead of rebuilding the Syrian-Turkish relations to what it was before the so-called Arab Spring.

Immediately after the announcement of the expected meeting between the Syrian and Turkish foreign ministers, Qatar’s Aljazeera publishes a long piece by an Islamist commentator and professor at Qatar university floating the idea of Turkey’s control over Aleppo and rejecting Turkish reconciliation with the Syrian government. The article was picked by a long time advisor the Erdogan and his party and he made the same point an interview with a Turkish outlet. Given how skeptical the Syrian government is from this about-face from Erdogan, it can easily use this statement to cancel the proposed meeting and reject Erdogan’s courting of Assad.

Aware of the problem, it was revealed that the Turkish foreign minister was very upset with the advisor’s statements and perhaps that is what forced the advisor to appear on Arab media outlets and explain that what he said was a personal opinion based on an article that he read in the media (a clear reference to aljazeera’s piece).

These events revisit the events and actors that promoted and benefited the so-called Arab Spring, including the role of the Qatari government and its media influencer, Aljazeera, the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafism, and Turkey who wanted to create a middle east to their liking that resulted in destroyed communities in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Iraq and the displacement of millions of people—in addition to the nearly one million people killed in these countries as a result of the geopolitical ambitions of Turkey, Qatar, UAE, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

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Here are the background stories for this event:



With the opposition accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of not being serious in dealing with the Syrian file and developing an urgent plan for reconciliation with Damascus to return Syrian refugees to their country, Yasin Aktay's proposal, Erdogan's advisor, came to confirm the validity of doubts about the latter's intentions and accounts for Syria.

 

Aktay, who was a very close friend of the late Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, said, "To ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees to their country, the city of Aleppo must be placed under Turkish administration for a transitional period."

 

Aktay pointed out, in his interview with the pro-President Erdogan channel, "Olca", to "the importance of dialogue between Turkey and the Syrian regime." But thanks to the Iranian and Russian support, the Assad regime was able to control it, after carrying out very large massacres. And had it not been for Turkey's intervention at the time, the regime would have carried out bloody massacres greater than it."

 

He added, "Therefore, Turkey must have a role in achieving security in the city and its environs, so that we can return one and a half million, or even two million, refugees to the city voluntarily, which will not be achieved unless a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis is reached with the participation of the people." Syrian".

 

Aktay's speech aroused the interest of the media and social networks, which said that he revealed the true intentions of President Erdogan by inviting President Putin to bring him together with President Assad after the recent meeting of the Syrian and Turkish defense ministers in Moscow, in the presence of the Russian defense minister.

 

Some saw his words as a message from Ankara to the Syrian opposition with all its factions, including Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, after the information that talked about Ankara's efforts to convince it of the feasibility of a possible reconciliation with Damascus, which is what this opposition started after meeting its leaders, Foreign Minister Mouloud Jawish. oglu last week.

 

Journalist Muhammad Ali Gullar recalled "the slogan raised by nationalist circles at the beginning of the Turkish intervention in northern Syria, when they talked about annexing this region to Turkey, as it was part of the map of the National Pact of 1920, just as Aleppo declared the 82nd state of present-day Turkey."

 


It seems that Aktay's statements and the media's interaction with them will remain the talk of the Turkish street during the next stage, as long as the Syrian file, with all its main and subheadings, will be the semi-main topic of the upcoming election campaigns, after it became clear that this file, especially the issue of Syrian refugees in Turkey, will affect the decision of the Turkish voter when He will vote for President Erdogan or his potential rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

 

This explains why the security authorities raided a gathering center for Syrian refugees in a suburb of Istanbul, whom the Republican People's Party was preparing to deport to Syria with their consent, and the aforementioned authorities transferred them to an unknown location so that Kilicdaroglu would not meet them before they left Istanbul towards the Syrian border.

 

All this while betting on information that was reported a while ago about Syrian President Assad's hesitation in reconciliation with Erdogan before the upcoming elections, which may be in mid-May, at a time when Russian and Gulf pressures continue on the two sides to achieve this reconciliation as quickly as possible.

 Journalist Omar Odamish predicted, "The image that will gather Erdogan and President Assad will affect the psyche of the voter, as the Turkish president will tell him that reconciliation with Damascus is necessary to eliminate terrorism, by which he means the PKK and its Syrian arm, the People's Protection Units, without mentioning the Syrian opposition militants." They are terrorists for Damascus."

 Opposition circles ruled out that Erdogan would meet the Syrian demands, and said that this would be after the elections and not before, given that it would constitute a security crisis in northern Syria and the Turkish interior, especially if Ankara failed to convince Jabhat Tahrir al-Sham of the importance and necessity of this reconciliation, including the war together against the militias. Kurdish forces east of the Euphrates, in exchange for advantages and privileges that Turkey recognizes for HTS fighters and leaders, which the media has been talking about for some time about its heated dialogue with Washington.

 The information talks about Washington increasing its military support for the Kurdish People's Protection Units to face any upcoming war in the region and against the Syrian and Turkish armies in the event of a joint reconciliation.

 President Erdogan seeks to justify this reconciliation to his followers and supporters by talking about the need to eliminate terrorism in Turkey and northern Syria, by which he means the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and its Syrian arm, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, which in turn entered the line of domestic politics in Turkey when it announced the co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party , the political wing of the PKK, the party's decision to participate in the upcoming elections with its own candidate, which puts the opposition "Nation Alliance" face to face with a new crisis in competition with Erdogan, who may prevail over the opposition candidate unless he has the support of the Kurds.

 

This account did not prevent the Supreme Constitutional Court from considering the issue of banning the activity of the Peoples’ Democratic Party before the end of this week, after it froze 3 days ago the aid provided by the treasury, according to the election law, which orders it to support the electoral campaigns of all political parties that have parliamentary blocs, i.e. on At least 20 seats.

 

All these complex data suggest the next stage in Turkish domestic politics, as long as it is affected by the future of the relationship with Damascus, for many surprises in terms of Turkish-Syrian relations, which will be under direct influence from Moscow, Tehran and the Gulf capitals represented by Abu Dhabi, which the Turkish media says is " It is ready to pay billions of dollars to the Syrian and Turkish sides in exchange for their agreement to the final reconciliation, according to its mood and the mood of its allies, who are many and contradictory.

 

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Reviewing Turskish media reaction to the Ankara - Damascus Normalization

    Thursday, January 05, 2023   No comments

Once the Syrians remember the facts of eleven years of Turkish behavior towards their country, the attempts to overthrow the regime and the state and support the armed opposition, leading to the occupation of parts of northern Syria, the importance of the first Moscow meeting can be realized at the level of the defense ministers of Turkey, Syria and Russia. And while awaiting the crystallization of a clearer picture with the possible meeting to be held soon between the three countries at the level of foreign ministers, Turkey was preoccupied with the details of the new phase of the reconciliation process, noting that the view of the writers supporting the “Justice and Development” party was shy in approaching the developments, while enthusiasm appeared, The “schadenfreude” is evident in the position of those who have been calling, for years, for direct communication with Damascus, amid almost unanimous agreement that the biggest winner of what is happening is the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad.

About this, Muhammed Ali Guler writes, in the opposition newspaper “Cumhuriyet”, in an article entitled “Al-Assad won and NATO lost,” that “(Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s external needs, and (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan’s internal needs, intersected to produce pressure. Russia is in the direction of holding a meeting of the Turkish and Syrian defense ministers in Moscow, thus opening the door to normalization between Syria and Turkey. According to Guler, “a lot of speculation arose in Turkey and Syria about the issues discussed by the two ministers, but it can be said that from the point of view of Turkish foreign policy, Ankara has accepted the fact that regional policies will proceed from now on on the basis of a “solution with Assad” or “the Assad solution.” ». Guler stresses that the most important of all these assessments is “to see the extent of the reflection of the normalization process from the point of view of Turkish foreign policy, on Ankara’s behavior in regional and international issues, which assumes that the “Assad solution” will be reflected in Turkey’s foreign policies. This requires necessary steps in the field that reflect the new approach.


The first of these measures, the writer says, is the dismantling of the structures that Ankara established in order to overthrow Assad. It includes all armed groups, Syrian, Islamic and radical, to which Turkey opened borders and formed a parliament and government for them as well. In Guler's opinion, the aforementioned constitutes "the most important issue now," as it is by "dissolving these structures" that what the writer describes as a "flexible solution" to the presence of the Turkish army in Syria can be reached. And he adds, “Of course, the dissolution of these groups is not as easy as expected, as it has a political and social cost. Some of them will not give up their arms, but may even move against Turkey. Here, cooperation between the Turkish and Syrian armies will be of great importance, as it will facilitate the liquidation of armed Islamic groups and will reduce the cost to Turkey. Secondly, it will help program a gradual withdrawal of the Turkish army and a corresponding control of the Syrian army over its territory. And he wonders, in this context, whether the Turkish authorities will accept the advanced scenario, or will they adapt their vision to the impact of the presidential elections and put forward the condition of “achieving political stability” first?

In the same newspaper, Barish Doster writes, saying that the Moscow meeting, despite its delay, is important for the two countries, as it allowed Turkey to correct its wrong policies towards Syria, and at the same time showed more than one thing: the first of which is “the limits of the Turkish state’s ability”; The second is “the mistake of practicing foreign policy on a sectarian, ethnic, ideological, personal or emotional basis and using it as a tool in domestic politics.” The new Turkish policy towards Syria also showed, according to Doster, “the mistake of relying on and trusting the United States and believing that it will win under any circumstances; It is also a mistake to underestimate Assad and look at countries and societies in the Middle East with a sectarian eye. According to the writer, “if the talks between the two countries produce results, they can cooperate, with the help of Russia and Iran, against terrorism, eliminate the American presence in Syria and the armed Kurdish elements that support it, and thus achieve peace and stability,” as well as prepare for “the return of Syrian refugees.” to their country.” He believes that "Syria is Turkey's gateway to the Middle East with a border of 911 km, the second begins to win, not only from the political, diplomatic, strategic and security aspects, but also from the economic point of view."

In the loyal newspaper "Miliyet", Tonga Bengen says, "The United States wants a Syria fragmented as a state and institutions, because this is its way to consolidate its influence in this country. Therefore, Washington is not satisfied with Turkey's efforts to reconcile with Syria. And he goes on to say that “Washington will use all kinds of conspiracies and provocations to trap a solution between Ankara and Damascus, such as pressure through the militants in Idlib, and through other issues in the eastern Mediterranean and within the Turkish army by officers who do not agree with Erdogan in his new policies.” Hence, the most important thing, according to Bengin, is that “Syria, Russia and Turkey be honest, sincere and firm in order to achieve lasting peace and confront the potential games of the United States and the mines that it will plant.”

As for Mustafa Kara Ali Oglu, in the opposition newspaper “Qarar”, which is close to Ahmed Davutoglu, he believes that “Turkey is not in an enviable position. We were against Bashar al-Assad and we want to depose him. Now this goal is no longer possible, and Assad has gained enough strength to sit at the table across from us. And Russia skillfully managed the Astana process to the extent that it forced Turkey to recognize the Assad regime and sit with it. This is a significant success for both Moscow and Damascus. But he also says that Turkey “should not trust Russia with regard to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, as Moscow and Washington provide protection for it,” asking: “Can it be said to the refugees who fled Assad that the problem has been solved, and they can return? Is this applicable? According to the writer, the Turkish forces cannot leave Syria without resolving the problem of the Kurdish forces, because they are “the only negotiating force we have with regard to Damascus,” concluding that “the process is completely unknown and unreliable, and negotiations over it will take years or even decades before reaching agreements.” Issues that cannot be resolved in the field will not be easy to solve at the table.


For his part, Fahim Tashkin, in the opposition newspaper "Gazete Dwar", considers that "the Syrians today must use accurate measures in order to confront what they expect from the normalization process with Turkey. Things may progress surprisingly, and Erdogan's dream of praying at the Umayyad Mosque may come true, but alongside Assad. The writer describes the Moscow meeting as “a birth on the page of Turkey’s defeat,” noting that “it is not clear what the two sides agreed upon, but Damascus and Moscow see it as an agreement to strike the armed groups in Idlib, while Ankara suffices to mention the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, while the problem will be the jihadist groups.” In Idlib and the warlords, it is one of the most difficult challenges that Ankara will face. Tashkin wondered: “Will Turkey say to Syria: Deal with the Kurds and leave me the matter of finishing off the jihadists?” To answer: “Erdogan wants to convince Damascus that the Kurds are the common enemy, and that they are the price of normalization between the two countries.” And if Erdogan and Assad meet before the elections, he adds, “We can talk about a bloody electoral investment. The next meeting of foreign ministers will make the goals clearer. The result: Assad wins.


Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Syria refused Turkey's request to arrange a meeting between Erdogan and Assad

    Tuesday, December 06, 2022   No comments

 The leader of the Justice and Development Party, Orhan Miri Oglu, declared, "Damascus rejected Ankara's request to arrange a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad."

"Damascus intends to postpone the meeting between Erdogan and Assad until after the Turkish elections," Merioglu told Sputnik.

It is noteworthy that Miri Oglu confirmed, earlier, that the Turkish president is ready to meet his Syrian counterpart, and that he did not reject the idea of meeting.

And the Turkish president had assured Al-Mayadeen, earlier, that he was "ready to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad when the time comes," saying: "I may meet al-Assad when the time is right. I am not a politician used to saying that this is not possible or that it is impossible. When the time comes Of course, we may meet with the Syrian president."

Last November, Erdogan hinted at the possibility of reconsidering relations with Damascus after the 2023 elections in Turkey, saying: "We can reconsider our relations with the countries with which we live in problems, after the elections."

It is noteworthy that the Turkish presidency announced, earlier, that Moscow had offered to mediate in order to hold a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Turkish presidency stated that "there is no political basis for holding a meeting between Erdogan and Assad at the present time, but Ankara does not close the door to diplomacy," adding that Russia offered to mediate and facilitate a meeting between the two leaders.

Friday, October 07, 2022

After Meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Confirms that He Wants to Meet with Syrian leader Bashar Assad

    Friday, October 07, 2022   No comments

Türkiye believes that full normalization based on good neighborly relations can be achieved in the region as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he did not rule out a meeting with Syrian leader Bashar Assad after an in-person encounter with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the sidelines of the European Political Community summit.

Erdoğan attended the EPC’s first summit in Prague on Oct. 6 from where he conveyed messages to the regional leaders, including Armenia and Syria with which Türkiye’s ties were once very strained.


Erdoğan held a bilateral meeting with Pashinyan after a brief trilateral dialogue that also included Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Erdoğan issued important messages at a press conference after the summit on late Oct. 6, particularly on Syria.


“Meeting with Assad is out of the question for now. But when the time comes, we can also meet with the president of Syria… Currently, low-level meetings are being held,” Erdoğan replied to a question on whether he would meet the Syrian leader for peace.


Türkiye has been taking steps to accelerate the return of Syrian refugees as the Turkish government constructs briquette houses in the north of the neighboring country, he, said noting that some 500,000 Syrians have returned to their homeland.


On the other hand, Ankara wants to get rid of the terrorist groups in Syria, he added. Erdoğan emphasized that the war between Russia and Ukraine had impacts on Syria as well.


“Of course, the Russia-Ukraine War delayed the steps to be taken in the region. Because Russia also has an active role in these events in Syria, Iran has an active role, and on the other hand, coalition forces have an active role,” he said.



Friday, September 16, 2022

Orhan Miroglu: “a meeting between Erdogan and Assad on the sidelines of the Shanghai summit in Samarkand was on the schedule”

    Friday, September 16, 2022   No comments

A member of the Central Decision and Execution Committee of the Justice and Development Party, Orhan Miroglu, confirmed today, Friday, that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ready to meet his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, and did not reject the idea of ​​meeting him.

 "The United States of America and the European Union wanted a solution without President Assad in Syria, but today it turned out that this is not possible due to changing circumstances," Miroğlu told Sputnik.

 He added that "President al-Assad and the Syrian Baath Party have maintained their strength in Syria to some extent, despite the war and crisis facing the country," saying: "It became clear today that the idea of ​​separating Assad from the Baath Party and reaching a solution to the crisis in the country is no longer valid as a result of changing circumstances. ".

 

The Turkish official pointed out that "the circles of the Turkish government, led by President Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, welcome the normalization of relations between Ankara and Damascus and the holding of meetings with the Syrian side, and they do not radically reject this idea."

 

He explained, "It was scheduled to hold a meeting between Erdogan and Assad on the sidelines of the Shanghai summit in Samarkand, and I do not know whether Assad participated in the summit or not."

 

He pointed out that "during the meeting of the decision and central implementation body of the Justice and Development Party held on September 12, a conviction was reached that they could meet on the sidelines of the summit in the event that al-Assad attends."

 

Miroğlu considered that "the meeting between the governments of the two countries, or the officials of the two countries, has become inevitable in order to reach a solution in the country, whatever the form of this solution."

 

In response to a question whether the head of the Turkish intelligence service, Hakan Fidan, had visited Damascus to meet his Syrian counterpart Ali Mamlouk, Miroğlu replied: "It is possible that Fidan met his Syrian counterpart Mamlouk, because the intelligence services are preparing the atmosphere to improve the crisis relations between the two countries." .

 

He continued, "I believe that Fidan met Mamlouk in order to pave the way for the resumption of diplomatic relations between Ankara and Damascus, and this Fidan campaign can be considered as a preparatory step for the resumption of diplomatic relations, and this is natural and inevitable."

 

And Miroğlu added that "the withdrawal of the Turkish army from Syrian territory is currently out of the question in light of the presence of the PKK threat," noting that "the reason for the presence of Turkish forces in Syria is the PKK, its threats and Ankara's efforts to protect its national unity and territorial integrity, while the party seeks to establish an entity in northern Syria, and this threatens Turkey.”

 

And after that, "Turkey's demand to withdraw its forces and cut its support for the armed Syrian opposition in the presence of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) run by the Kurdistan Workers' Party, does not contribute to the dialogue process and is not realistic at all."

 

He stressed that "the Turkish army may withdraw from Syrian territory when the threat is removed, and this will only be done by eliminating the PKK."

 

Earlier in the day, the Turkish pro-government newspaper, Hurriyet, reported in an article by writer Abdul Qadir Salafi that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had expressed a desire to meet his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, if he attended the Shanghai summit in Uzbekistan, but indicated that Assad was not participating. 

Abdulkadir Salafi, a columnist for Hurriyet newspaper, stated that Erdogan made these statements about Assad at a meeting of his ruling party (Justice and Development) held behind closed doors, on Monday.

 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Reuters agency: The head of the Turkish intelligence service held several meetings with his Syrian counterpart in Damascus during the past few weeks

    Thursday, September 15, 2022   No comments

Regional sources "close to Damascus" told the agency that the head of the Turkish intelligence service, Hakan Fidan, and the head of the Syrian National Security Service, Ali Mamlouk, met this week in the Syrian capital.

During the meetings, Fidan and Mamlouk assessed the possibility of the two countries' foreign ministers meeting, according to a senior Turkish official and a Turkish security source.


"Russia wants Syria and Turkey to overcome their problems and reach certain agreements that are in the interest of everyone, Turkey and Syria alike," the Turkish official said.


One of the big challenges, the official added, is Turkey's desire to include the Syrian opposition in any talks with Damascus.


The Turkish security official noted that Russia has gradually withdrawn some military resources from Syria to focus on Ukraine, and asked Turkey to normalize relations with Damascus to "accelerate the political solution" in Syria.


He pointed out that "Ankara does not want to see Iranian or Iranian-backed forces fill the gaps left by the Russian withdrawals."

The source close to Damascus said that Russia had urged Syria to enter into talks, adding that recent meetings, including Fidan's two-day visit to Damascus last August, sought to pave the way for higher-level sessions.


He added that the Turkish-Syrian contacts had made a lot of progress, without going into details.


A third regional source allied with Damascus said that "Turkish-Syrian relations have begun to improve and progress to the stage of creating an atmosphere of understanding."

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Accusations exchanged between Bashagha and Dabaiba over the victims of the Tripoli clashes

    Sunday, August 28, 2022   No comments

Today, Sunday, the Prime Minister of the Libyan government designated by Parliament, Fathi Bashagha, blamed the Prime Minister of the Libyan National Unity Government, Abdel Hamid Dabaiba, for the recent clashes in Tripoli, which resulted in the killing of 32 people.

Clashes have continued in Tripoli, Libya, since Friday, between forces loyal to the Bashagha government, which won the confidence of Parliament last March, and others loyal to the Dabaiba government, which stemmed from political agreements sponsored by the United Nations.


A statement issued by Bashagha's office said today, "We confirm that the so-called Abdel Hamid al-Dabaiba ... and his armed gangs are responsible for the blood that was shed and the money looted, and are responsible for what will happen," accusing the Dabaiba government of "clinging to power and not accepting the will of the Libyans and the principle of deliberation." peaceful authority.


On the other hand, the head of the Libyan National Unity Government, Abdel Hamid al-Dabaiba, confirmed that a "coup group" had mobilized on the borders of Tripoli from its eastern, southern and western borders, but the "aggression" was defeated.


Commenting on the renewed clashes in Tripoli, Dabaiba said, in a televised speech today, that "the coup group mobilized on the western, southern and eastern borders of Tripoli and booby-trapped the capital's neighborhoods."


"The parallel government project has failed and the Libyan people refuse to extend it," he added.


Earlier today, the Libyan Presidential Council called for the country to be spared any possible war, considering that "every weapon is directed at the chests of its countrymen, and that innocent women, men and children are at the forefront of its victims, and that its fire will damage private and public property."


The fighting has raised fears of a wider conflict in Libya due to the political standoff between Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dabaiba in Tripoli and Fathi Bashagha, who is seeking to install a new government in the capital. This is the second attempt by Bashagha to seize Tripoli since May.


And the Ministry of Health stated, earlier today, that "32 people were killed in the fighting yesterday, Saturday, and 159 others were wounded."


Calm prevailed in the Libyan capital, in the early hours of Sunday morning, after a day of the heaviest clashes there in two years, killing 32 people and wounding 159 others, at a time when forces allied with a parliament-backed administration failed to expel the Tripoli-based government.


The city's roads were crowded with cars, shops opened, and people removed broken glass and other debris left by Saturday's violence, while burning cars were scattered in some streets in central Tripoli.


Damascus breaks its silence: This is our plan for normalization with Ankara

    Sunday, August 28, 2022   No comments

 by Alaa Halabi

Damascus broke its silence over the “slithering” messages coming to it from Ankara, declaring from the pulpit of Moscow, which is engaged in a difficult mediation with Tehran, between the Turkish and Syrian neighbors, that it does not mind restoring relations with Turkey on a solid and clear basis, which guarantees it the restoration of its control over its entire territory, and paves the way for the start of a real Syrian-Syrian dialogue. Despite the diplomatic and media rush shown by Turkey towards Syria, the normalization path, which is currently managed by the intelligence agencies in both countries, seems to take time, unless Ankara takes dramatic steps, through which it can accelerate this path, in which investment seems a priority. For Recep Tayyip Erdogan


Following a long meeting in Moscow, the day before yesterday, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, made compatible statements focused on the two issues of Syrian refugees and the US presence in Syria. The last title, with its accompanying emphasis on the necessity of the exit of US forces as a necessary condition for resolving the Syrian crisis, has become the backbone of the efforts of the guarantor states of the “Astana track” (RussiaIran and Turkey), in addition to forming a suitable ground to open the closed doors between Ankara and Damascus. From here, the two ministers recalled the sabotage role of the American forces that seize most of the Syrian oil regions, as well as their support for the Kurdish separatist project, which represents one of the most prominent obstacles to reaching a political settlement in accordance with United Nations resolutions, as well as threatening the territorial integrity of Syria, and impeding the return process. Refugees return to their homes due to the living and economic pressures imposed by Washington on Damascus. This position, and before it the statements of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against the policies of the United States, foretells the existence of a preliminary agreement between Turkey and Syria from which to proceed towards political talks that are working to develop those currently being waged by Syrian and Turkish intelligence services, according to what Ankara announced.

In what could be considered the first official Syrian statement in this regard, after a long period of silence, which seems to have been deliberate, Miqdad, in his response to journalists, denied the existence of conditions for normalizing relations, adding that there are fundamental issues that must be addressed “on the basis of respect for the sovereignty of states,” adding The first entitlements before the two countries are “ending the occupation, stopping support for terrorism, non-interference in internal affairs, and solving water problems.” Reiterating that Damascus does not trust “those who sponsor and support terrorism,” he considered that “when we reach such a solution, it will be in the interest of Syria and Turkey, and it will be a prelude to restoring relations to what they were before the war began.” Al-Miqdad’s words draw clear signs of what Syria aspires to, whether in terms of ending the Turkish military presence on its lands, or in terms of stopping Ankara’s support for the opposition groups, which Damascus sees as emptying the “Syrian solution” project of its content. It appears that Syria is receiving support, in this vision, from its Russian and Iranian allies, especially in light of the latter's continued rejection of any new Turkish military attack on Syrian regions, which was explicitly expressed by Lavrov at the same conference, recalling the existence of agreements between Damascus and Ankara (Adana Agreement). Security Treaty signed in 1998) through which Turkish security concerns can be removed through diplomatic means.


As a result, the current situation can be summarized as the beginning of a Turkish turn towards Syria, through which Ankara is rushing to achieve gains, whether in the form of finding a solution to the refugee problem, or by reaping field and political gains that Erdogan can spend in the presidential election race in Turkey, which will intensify as the date approaches. In June of next year. On the other hand, Damascus wants a clear road map, which guarantees the restoration of its control over all parts of the country, and the transformation of Turkey from a party to the conflict to an auxiliary element in the solution. Both demands represent part of a long path that requires consensus on many overlapping and intertwined points, in light of the complex situation in northern Syria, where Ankara, through its affiliated factions, controls the countryside of Aleppo and Raqqa, at a time when Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Al-Nusra Front) is unique. , which has also become affiliated with Turkey, by controlling Idlib, which is the largest stronghold of the "jihadist" groups.

In the face of the field, political and even economic equation (in view of the increasing pressure on Ankara, its desire to play a greater role in energy-related projects in the region, and the conditions that must be present to ensure the return of Syrian refugees), it seems that Russian and Iranian efforts have managed, so far, to open a window of During which, continuous security talks were held between Syria and Turkey, aimed at finding solutions to field issues in a sequential manner, and paving the ground for the transition to political action. This means that the normalization process will take a long time, unless Ankara, which wants to speed up its pace, takes the initiative to translate its diplomatic rush into similar operational steps on the ground.


  


Tuesday, August 23, 2022

"Tasnim": Assad and Erdogan may meet at the Shanghai summit in Uzbekistan

    Tuesday, August 23, 2022   No comments

The Iranian "Tasnim" news agency reported, quoting informed sources, that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "may meet at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, which is expected to be held next September in Uzbekistan."

The agency quoted the sources as saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin "invited Erdogan to participate in the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan, and Putin also asked Assad to participate in this meeting."


Earlier, Erdogan said that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, invited him to attend the summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan in September.


Meanwhile, Turkish media revealed that President Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, may hold a phone call, during the coming period, at the suggestion of Putin.


In the context of the Turkish-Syrian rapprochement, the agency indicated that the leader of the Turkish "Homeland" party, Dogu Perincek, "will soon head to Syria as part of a political and diplomatic delegation, where he will meet and hold talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad."


She added, "Berncik will be accompanied on this trip by a number of former ministers and veterans of Turkish diplomacy, and a report on the results of this trip will be submitted to the Turkish authorities."


In this context, it was pointed out that the Turkish delegation's trip to Syria will be the first from a Turkish airport to Damascus in about 10 years, as direct flights between the two countries have not been operated since 2011.


The Iranian agency stated that "the focus of this trip will be on ways to restore relations, the joint struggle against terrorism in northern Syria, and the return of Syrian refugees," as it put it.


It is noteworthy that the Kremlin announced on August 9 that the two Russian Presidents, Vladimir Putin, and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, discussed the situation in Syria.


It is noteworthy that the regular summit of the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be held next September in the city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan, which is currently the head of the organization.


Mevlut Cavusoglu : A dialogue is taking place between the Syrian and Turkish intelligence services

Today, Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that "there is a dialogue taking place between the Syrian and Turkish intelligence services."


Cavusoglu stressed that "Turkey does not have preconditions for dialogue with Syria," noting that "dialogue with the Syrian government must have specific goals."


The Turkish minister said: "A meeting was not planned between the Turkish and Syrian presidents in Shanghai, because Assad will not participate in the summit," as he put it.


Earlier today, the Iranian "Tasnim" news agency reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "may meet at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, which is expected to be held next September in Uzbekistan."


The agency quoted sources as saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin "invited Erdogan to participate in the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan, and Putin also asked Assad to participate in this meeting."


It is noteworthy that the regular summit of the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be held next September in the city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan, which is currently the head of the organization.


Friday, August 19, 2022

Erdogan: America and the coalition are fueling terrorism in Syria, and dialogue with Damascus is not excluded

    Friday, August 19, 2022   No comments

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on possible talks with Syria that "states can never rule out political dialogue and diplomacy."

The Turkish TRT channel quoted Erdogan as saying that "his country has no ambitions in Syrian territory," and said that "the Syrian people are our brothers, and their territorial integrity is important to us."

He added, "The United States of America and the coalition forces are the feeders of terrorism in Syria in the first place. They have done so relentlessly and continue to do so."


Pointing out that "we must take advanced steps with Syria, through which we can spoil many schemes in this region of the Islamic world."


Erdogan stressed, according to Anatolia, that Turkey "has no ambitions in Syrian territory, and Damascus must understand this well," noting also that Ankara "has always been supportive of a political solution and dialogue in Syria."


The Anatolia news agency quoted Erdogan as saying, "We do not care about the issue of Assad's defeat or not being defeated," expressing a position in this context, saying: "We have always been part of the solution in Syria."


This comes at a time when the northern countryside of Aleppo is witnessing a remarkable military escalation, through an exchange of shelling between the Turkish army and the "Syrian Democratic Forces", which led to the martyrdom of civilians and members of the Syrian army deployed in the area, as a result of a raid by a Turkish fighter on Tel Jarqali. , west of the city of Ayn al-Arab.


Cities and towns in the border strip are witnessing frequent Turkish bombardment, under the pretext that the SDF did not withdraw to a distance of 30 km, according to the Sochi Agreement, which led to the deaths and injuries, and the displacement of dozens of families from their villages and towns.


On the other hand, the Turkish president said regarding relations with Egypt: "We are united by the Egyptian people as brothers. There can be no disagreement with the Egyptian people. For this reason, we need to establish this peace there as soon as possible."


It is noteworthy that Erdogan's statements came during his one-day visit to Lvov, during which he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, at the Potochki Palace, in the presence of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.


Monday, August 15, 2022

The reconciliatory comments issued by Turkish officials towards Damascus continue; The head of the Turkish "National Movement" Party Devlet Bahçeli announces his support for the foreign minister's statements on Syria and calls for raising the level of dialogue with Damascus

    Monday, August 15, 2022   No comments

After statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mawad Çavuşoğlu about his meeting with the Syrian Foreign Minister and his announcement of Turkey's support for reconciliation in Syria, and after leaks by a Turkish newspaper about communication between Damascus and Ankara. Today came the statement of the head of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party, Devlet Bahçeli, who welcomed the dialogue with Damascus and supported the statements of Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu Bahçeli, an ally of the Justice and Development Party in the “People” coalition, which includes the “Great Union” party. In an official statement issued The party expressed its support for the recent statements of the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, regarding the Syrian issue.

“Turkey’s steps in Syria are valuable and accurate, and the constructive and realistic statements of our foreign minister on bringing peace between the Syrian opposition and the Assad regime are a strong outlet for the search for a permanent solution,” the statement said.

The statement, signed on behalf of Dovlet Bahceli, added, "No one should be disturbed by this," and explained that raising Turkey's talks with the Syrian regime to the level of political dialogue, in the context of removing "terrorist organizations" from every region in which they are located, is one of the most important issues on the agenda. politics in the future.

Bahlachi expressed his desire for an atmosphere of normalization to prevail in every region and with every neighbor of Turkey by 2023, with reference to the brotherhood relationship and the strong ties based on history, culture and faith between the Turks and the Syrians. Bahceli added: “There is a really independent people.. There are also regimes and the opposition.. 11 years ago many people died. Many people left their country. These people should be able to return, including those in Turkey.”

Devlet Bahceli is described as a man behind the scenes who drives the politics of governance in Turkey, in alliance with the Justice and Development Party. He had lined up behind Erdogan in the project to overthrow the regime in Syria, declaring that Assad was a president who had lost his legitimacy, and now he is forming a national cover for the expected transformation of President Erdogan in his policies toward Syria.

In light of the continuation of positive signals from Ankara towards Damascus, and what appears to be a Turkish review of the hostility relationship with it, silence remained prevailing in Syria, and no Syrian official body commented on these statements or press leaks. Perhaps Damascus prefers to wait for some space for Iranian-Russian mediation. The two sides are making great efforts to reach results in reformulating the relationship between Turkey and Syria.


Friday, August 12, 2022

Mass demonstrations in northern Syria condemning Ankara's call for "reconciliation" between the government and the opposition

    Friday, August 12, 2022   No comments

Thousands protested across parts of rebel-held northern Syria [See locations in attached pam] on Friday after Turkey's foreign minister called for reconciliation between Ankara-backed Syrian opposition groups and the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

More than 11 years after the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, the northwestern region near the Turkish border is the last stronghold still under the control of fighters seeking to overthrow Assad, with control divided between militant groups and other fighters backed by Turkey.

The Turkish government maintains thousands of troops in the area and supports an alliance of anti-Assad armed groups under the banner of the Syrian National Army.

"We need to bring the opposition and the regime together in order to somehow reconcile, otherwise there will be no lasting peace," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara on Thursday.

After he spoke, protests began in areas of Syria controlled by opposition forces, with people waving opposition flags in the streets on Thursday night and pulling Turkish flags from buildings including police stations and local administration offices.

"We have suffered from this criminal for 11 years and we will continue our revolution," teacher Mahmoud Salo, 45, told Reuters during a protest in Azaz, Idlib, on Friday.

About three thousand people gathered in Azaz on Friday, while protests erupted in other areas of the northwestern Idlib province and in the northern areas of the neighboring province of Aleppo.

A Reuters reporter in the region said many Turkish consultants who work in a number of local institutions did not come to work on Friday.

Ahmet Shobak, a refugee from Aleppo who works as an engineer in Azaz, said Cavusoglu's comments were unacceptable.

"If Turkey wants to stand with the world that is already against us, so be it, it won't change anything much," he added. But we hope that Turkey's position will become more positive."


Yesterday, the cities and towns under the control of the Syrian opposition, in the north of the country, witnessed protests against Çavuşoğlu’s statements. The cities and towns of Al-Bab, Azaz, Sego, Jarabulus, Al-Ra’i and Marea in the countryside of Aleppo, Salqin and Idlib witnessed demonstrations during which protesters burned the Turkish flag and raised slogans condemning the statements of the Turkish Foreign Minister, calling To the continuation of the protests, the reactions of the Syrian opposition, through its statements and the positions of its leaders, varied, between those who aligned with the demonstrations and denounced the new Turkish position, and the opposition forces that refused to offend Turkey and denounced the burning of the Turkish flag.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu revealed a meeting he had with Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Conference in Belgrade months ago, declaring that Turkey was seeking reconciliation between the regime and the opposition for the sake of Syria's stability and territorial integrity.

Organizations and figures in the Syrian opposition denounced Çavuşoğlu’s statements, and the so-called Department of Political Affairs in the opposition Salvation Government in northern Syria, where Turkish influence areas, said, “We followed up with strong condemnation these statements that offended the Syrian people and their great revolution, as well as the positions of the countries that sympathized, supported and supported this blessed revolution, Proceeding from its moral and humanitarian principles, foremost of which is the Republic of Turkey and its generous government, these statements come in a context of interest that is not befitting the principles of Turkish policy that is biased towards the just causes of oppressed peoples.

Fahim Issa, the commander-in-chief of the "Revolutionary" movement, one of the largest armed groups in the north, said, "There is no reconciliation with Assad, no reconciliation with terrorism and killers. There is no place for Assad or the regime in the future of Syria." "We will not betray the blood of our martyrs, and we will not betray the country's revolution," he added.

Meanwhile, the Defense Minister of the so-called Syrian Interim Government, Hassan Hamadeh, said: “At the first cry of the people wanting to overthrow the regime, it was the point of no return. It's over, there is no alternative to toppling Assad."

Opposition figures praised the movements and demonstrations denouncing the statements of the Turkish Foreign Minister. While others denounced the demonstration and burning of the Turkish flag.

The so-called Syrian National Army confirmed in a statement that “the flag of the Turkish Republic, as the flag of the Syrian revolution, is a source of pride, a title for victory, and a emblem for a great people, and its place is above the heads of the brave and the bodies of the martyrs.”

The statement stressed the need to hold accountable those who crossed their borders by insulting the Turkish flag.

As for the Ministry of Defense in the opposition’s interim government, it retracted in a statement, describing the Turkish flag as “sacred for the people for those who shed their blood on Syrian lands from the Turkish army and people.”

She vowed to hold accountable those she called "ignorant people" who do not represent the constants of the revolution.

She explained that some parties in Syria aim to "destabilize the relations of brotherhood and blood between the Turkish and Syrian peoples, to serve the enemies."

As for the National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, it stressed its refusal to burn the flag of the Turkish people, which hosts 4 million Syrians, and indicated that the blood of the Turkish people was mixed with the blood of the Syrians.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry clarified the Turkish position on the situation in Syria, and said in a statement issued by the ministry’s spokesman: “Turkey, since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, has been the country that has worked the most to support solutions to the crisis based on achieving the legitimate demands of the people.”

He added: “In this context, Turkey was at the forefront of the parties that worked to consolidate the ceasefire on the ground, and contributed to the Astana and Geneva tracks, building the Constitutional Committee and providing full support to the opposition and the negotiating body. And it is working on a solution in Syria in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2254.



Friday, March 18, 2022

On the anniversary of the outbreak of the events that led to his islation by Gulf States, President Assad of Syria visits the UAE

    Friday, March 18, 2022   No comments

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited UAE, where he met Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Friday. 

The Emirates News Agency said that the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi received the Syrian President, and discussed with him "brotherly relations, cooperation and joint coordination."

The agency added that the UAE Prime Minister affirmed his country's keenness to "discover new paths for constructive cooperation with Syria, and to monitor opportunities through which various aspects of cooperation can be pushed forward."

The agency indicated that Assad left the UAE after meeting with senior officials.

The UAE has been at the fore in the efforts of some Arab countries to normalize relations with Syria in recent times.

Al-Assad received in Damascus the UAE Foreign Minister, Abdullah bin Zayed, last November, and this was the first visit of a high-ranking Gulf official since several Gulf countries cut diplomatic relations with the Syrian government following the outbreak of violence in Syria in 2011. The United States expressed its dissatisfaction with the visit.

Other Gulf States, especially, Qatar, is holding back normalization with the Syrian government given their initial support of the armed groups that wanted to overthrow the Syrian government. In 2012, Qatar hosted the Arab League Summit, its leader, Hamad, offered Syria's seat to an opposition figure, which they recognized as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Saudi Arabia, too, held the position that "Assad must go--peacefully or violently." 

It is not clear if UAE will try to mend relations between Syria and Saudi Arabia, though it is unlikely that it will advocate for the warming of relations between Qatar and Syria goven that UAE still has frosty relations with its neighbor.

















Friday, November 12, 2021

Ford: Assad won the war and Washington failed to unite the opposition

    Friday, November 12, 2021   No comments

The former US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, admits the failure of US policy there, and the unification of the Syrian opposition, considering that the recent visit of the UAE Foreign Minister to Damascus confirms Assad's victory in the war.


The former US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, said that "US policy has failed to establish a Syrian government through negotiations."

Ford added in an exclusive interview with "France 24" that "there are many divisions within the ranks of the Syrian opposition, from the beginning, and US policy has failed to unite the ranks of the opposition groups."

Noting that "the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is present, and controls 70 percent of the Syrian territory, including major cities, the armed opposition is unable to remove al-Assad," he stressed that "despite the destruction of the Syrian economy, but in the end al-Assad won the war." eligibility.”

He continued, "I think that the Arab countries, not only the UAE, but also Egypt and Jordan, have recognized that the Syrian government is staying and continues to be in power."

The former US ambassador to Syria acknowledged that "the Syrian government will remain, and the Arab countries must find a way to coexist with it."

While he revealed that "there is no American politician who supports the idea of ​​restoring diplomatic relations with Damascus," he considered that "the United States has circumstances that differ with the Arab countries, Syria's neighbors."

He also admitted that "Washington understood that it would be difficult for it to oppose Arab efforts to find a way of coexistence with the Syrian government that continues in power in Damascus. This does not mean that Washington is happy with Arab efforts to coexist with Damascus," stressing that "Washington is unable to offer an alternative to the Arab strategy." That we saw with UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan."


Ford also ruled out imposing sanctions on Arab regimes that restore relations with Damascus, noting that "President Biden's administration is currently focusing on the Asia file."

Ford's position came after the UAE Foreign Minister's visit to the Syrian capital, Damascus, last Tuesday, where he met President Assad, and said from there that "Syria, led by Assad, is capable of overcoming challenges."

And the UAE foreign minister said last March that "Syria's return to its Arab surroundings is inevitable, and it is in the interest of Syria and the region."

In conclusion, the former US ambassador to Syria also acknowledged that “the United States bears responsibility for what happened in Syria,” and said, “We sent arms to groups open to the idea of ​​finding a negotiated solution,” referring to the opposition, which he had assured in the year 2019 to "expect nothing from Washington."


On June 17, 2017, Ford admitted that the Americans had given the Syrian opposition false hope, contrary to American expectations and ambitions.

And the former US ambassador admitted last May that "Washington cannot remove Assad, and the elections are a failure of its policy," and that "the Americans are convinced that Assad will remain president of Syria until the next elections."

In a similar position to Ford, former US official Jeffrey Feltman said last January that "Washington's policy in Syria in the past two eras failed to achieve any tangible results, and that President Assad is now militarily stronger."

Two days ago, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra confirmed that "the time has come for Syria to return to the Arab League."

In the context of these developments, the Israeli newspaper "Jerusalem Post" commented on the visit of the UAE Foreign Minister to Damascus, and asked: Does the UAE's openness to Syria indicate a major transformation in the region? It said that "the UAE and other countries made quiet initiatives to Damascus for years, and there is consensus emerging between the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and its partners, that the time has come to bring Syria and its regime out of isolation.

"The visit is widely seen as an indication of regional efforts to end the diplomatic isolation of President Assad," France 24 said.


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