[Marxism] Russian-Turkish meeting
chris_w_slee at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 1 18:20:14 MST 2019
There was a meeting between Russian and Turkish officials on December 30. Here are links to two articles about the meeting:
High-level Russian, Turkish meeting ends without clear outcome:
What did the Turkish delegation offer Russia?
My tentative interpretation:
Russia and the Assad regime don't want to see a full scale Turkish invasion of Manbij. This is something that Erdogan has often threatened - and his threats must be taken seriously after the invasion of Afrin.
Assad would be worried that Turkey's occupation of a large part of northern Syria would become permanent (like the Israeli occupation of the Golan heights).
Hence Russian and Assad regime troops have moved into the town of Arima, west of Manbij, with the agreement of the Syrian Democratic Forces, to deter such an attack. They are also talking about moving to the Sajur River area, north of Manbij (though I suspect this will not occur until the US troops currently stationed there are withdrawn).
The Russian/Assadist action has caused Erdogan to backtrack from his threat of unilateral military action. Instead he is proposing a deal whereby Turkish and Assadist troops jointly take over Manbij. He is also offering to allow Assad's troops to advance in Idlib province.
It is unclear whether Russia and Assad will accept this offer.
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