Erdogan Says He Issued Ultimatum to Putin for Syria to Relinquish Gains or He’s Joining the War on AQ’s Side
Has given Syria until month-end to retreat from Syrian territory it has just retaken from AQ or he's invading
Speaking to MPs from his party Erdogan said that in a recent telephone call with Putin he has issued a demand that the Russian President makes the Syrian army pull back to lines it held before the current Idlib offensive, as well as a preceding one carried out last August.
According to Erdogan he told Putin that if Russia will not make Syria retreat from its territory, the Turkish army and air force would. Again according to Erdogan’s word he has given the Russian president until the end of February to accomplish this.
The Syrian army withdrawing to August 2018 lines would mean handing over a chunk of its sovereign territory back to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a spinoff of ISIS and an affiliate of al-Qaeda, which was the party which held it before the Syrian army advances.
Meanwhile, the Syrian advance continues, by month-end they are likely to hold even more previously AQ-held territory, rather than less of it. The number of Turkish army outposts on Syrian soil completely encircled by Syrian forces now stands at four.
The Syrian army surrounded the Turkish point in Tal Touqan after taking control of the town pic.twitter.com/YYIAQUfaVJ
— Yusha Yuseef 🇸🇾 (@MIG29_) February 5, 2020
Erdogan who started his reign with a motto of “zero problems with neighbors” for its part is involved in wars in Syria and Libya and has terrible even adversarial relations with Syria, Libya’s Haftar, Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syrian Kurds, nationalist Turkish Kurds, EU, parts of Washington (Congress, the military) and if he carries out any part of his threats he will be able to add Russia and Iran to that list.
The Trump administration, however, has jumped at the chance to curry favor with Erdogan, and to encourage him to throw himself into the fray for al-Qaeda, most likely with a view what that would do to Russian-Turkish cooperation on gas, nuclear energy and arms.