U.S. sidelined as Ankara, Moscow work on Syria issue - analyst
Turkey, Russia and Iran are continuing their joint work on Syria, in a cooperation that is increasingly removing the United States from the war-torn country, analyst Seth Frantzman wrote in the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, delegations from Turkey, Russia and Iran met in Kazakhstan's capital Nur Sultan for the 17th meeting of the Astana process, in a meeting that did not see any representation from Washington, Frantzman highlighted.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump effectively ignored Turkey’s invasion of Afrin in Syria, abandoned its Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) partners , thereby enabled a Turkish invasion in October 2019, the analyst wrote.
The chaos sparked by the developments “empowered Russia, Iran and Turkey,” he said.
In October 2019, Trump unilaterally withdrew U.S. troops from the Syrian border following a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Turkey a few days later launched operation Operation Peace Spring against the Kurdish-led SDF, displacing thousands of civilians.
Turkey accuses the SDF of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with which it has been partner to an internal conflict since the 1980s.
Turkey, on the one hand, and Russia and Iran on the other, back opposing sides in the conflict in the war-battered country.
“It is unclear now if Turkey, Iran and Russia can come to some agreement to preserve the status quo in Syria, or if more operations by Turkey or the Syrian regime will take place,’’ Frantzman wrote.
But what is certain is that the groups working with America - which have not been promised U.S.-backing them in the future in Syria, will be excluded from talks, according to the analyst.