At a certain point, the escalation of tension in Syria reached its limit. Turkey invades the territory of a neighboring republic, openly ignoring cooperation with Russia to resolve the conflict. The United States is pulling back troops, leaving the Kurds to their own devices, with whom, until recently, they worked so closely. It seemed that Syria would be torn to shreds, but everything changed so dramatically and spectacularly, as if it had been conceived from the very beginning.
The culmination of this scenario was the agreement between Putin and Erdogan, which involves the introduction of the Russian military police and the Syrian border service on the Syrian-Turkish border to facilitate the withdrawal of Kurdish forces 30 kilometers deep into Syria. When the withdrawal is completed, a joint Russian-Turkish patrol begins to a depth of 10 km from the border. Patrolling does not apply to the city of Kamyshly, where many Kurds live. At the same time, the Turkish operation «Source of Peace», with which it all began, is curtailed.
Agree that Putin, no matter how anyone relates to him, played beautifully in this situation. Ever since Ankara announced the start of the invasion of Syria, Moscow has been commenting on this with a kind of diplomatic skepticism that bordered on caution. And this is understandable, because Erdogan is no less a partner for Putin than Assad. Moreover, Turkey is actively buying Russian weapons. Losing such an ally would be reckless. But was it worth the credibility, the opportunity to appear before the international community as a peacemaker? Putin managed to maintain a profitable partnership and resolve the situation with the Turkish invasion.
This outcome completely changes the balance of power in the Middle East. But, more importantly, it can seriously affect the situation in the world. Definitely, the USA can be recognized as the biggest loser. In pursuit of the implementation of the campaign promise, Trump made a decision that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans liked. The reasons are clear, because it is not just about one person’s presidential ambitions. Issues of strategic importance are at stake now.
Five years ago, the United States led an international coalition against the terrorists in Syria. And all these five years have been crossed out by one Trump’s decision. Who will remember the victories and achievements, if at the last moment the US Armed Forces escaped — you can not say otherwise. Washington has not just lost the instruments of influence that it had in Syria, but literally handed them to his strategic adversary. The Russian media have already managed to laugh at the hasty departure of the Americans. They showed abandoned US military bases where soldiers left food and even personal items.
Another serious blow to the dignity of the United States is the Kurds. Leaving them alone to fight the Turkish army is a cruel step. Ironically, they found support with Bashar al-Assad, whose regime was recently fought on the US side. Thus, one of the important problems of the Syrian settlement was resolved. Ultimately, the Kurdish issue would have to be somehow closed, but it turned out that they themselves went to the world. Thus, Trump deprived Putin of an additional headache, but added one to himself. He showed how unreliable an ally Washington can be.
“The scandalous decision of the United States, which left Syrian Kurds at their mercy, should convince Europeans that they cannot rely on someone for protection and must form their own unified army”, — commented French economist Jacques Attali.
Recently, the United States has not been in good standing in Europe, but now the situation may worsen. Countries that see the United States as not only a partner, but also a defender, have observed that one decision made in Washington and the entire US military contingent can disappear beyond the horizon in a matter of hours. It is unlikely that the United States will reimburse the costs of equipping military bases and other infrastructure. There are countries in Europe and Asia that can learn a lesson from Washington’s story.
And who else learned the lesson is Turkey, which has shown by its own example that transatlantic unity practically does not work. For such a short period of time, Ankara has faced a wave of criticism and punitive measures from its NATO allies. Yes, Washington hastened to lift the sanctions, but will Erdogan pretend that there was nothing? In the midst of the Turkish offensive, he accused the alliance of failing to comply with article 5 on collective security. Presently he has enough reasons to leave NATO, slamming the door loudly.
Such a precedent will not be in the hands of the United States, but will help strengthen the Kremlin’s position. But it’s no longer in the struggle for a dominant role in the Middle East — Moscow won here — it will be a confrontation for Europe. Washington has nothing to cover
The fact is that they abandoned the allies and fled, and Russia can take advantage of this.