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Turkey’s Request for U.S. Patriot Missiles to Pressure Russia In Syria Will Not Work

Russia And Turkey Are Splitting Over Syria But Will Not Go to War

Submitted by InfoBrics, authored by Paul Antonopoulos, Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies…

Ankara’s statements about an imminent military operation in Syria and the Turkish authorities’ request for Washington to supply them with U.S.-made Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems are just Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s manoeuvres to leverage against Russia that his country may be returning to the NATO camp. With Turkey supporting and backing jihadists against the Syrian Army in Idlib, the situation in Syria is becoming increasingly hostile as Erdoğan has threatened to directly go to war at the end of the month if Syria does not reverse the gains it made in previous weeks. There is a certain danger for war that could drag Russia as it is the main backer of the Syrian Army. Turkey has not shied away that it is increasingly getting frustrated with Moscow as it has unrelentingly backed its Syrian allies against Turkish-backed forces. This becomes complicated as not only Turkey and Russia have interests in Idlib, but so do the U.S. and Iran, however, Russia and Turkey are not going to war as many have speculated.

Patriot systems will be needed by Turkey to launch a major military operation in Idlib, a province that Ankara considers to be its area of ​​influence. Last Friday, Turkey with its jihadists allies last week attempted to invade the town of Nayrab, resulting in a complete failure that saw the death of tens of jihadists and two Turkish soldiers. This failure created a sudden realization for Turkey that its ground troops will need aviation and air defense support. Although Turkey acquired the Russian S-400 missile defense system, they will not be ready until sometime this spring, meaning that Turkey will find it difficult to contend with Syrian jets if they choose to directly go to war with the Syrian military.

It is likely that Turkey is requesting Patriots for political purposes and not to use against Russia in any potential conflict. Turkey significantly damaged their relationship with the U.S. to acquire the S-400 from Russia as Washington claimed they were not compatible with NATO military doctrine. Washington was so outraged by this purchase that it even placed sanctions against Turkey. But now Turkey’s request for the Patriots serves a political purpose in order to get closer to Washington and begin mending relations. As Erdoğan pursues foreign policy equally distant from Moscow, Washington and the EU, it is now manoeuvring and taking opportunity to apply pressure on Moscow by using a potential rapprochement with the U.S.

Although Moscow and Ankara find differences over Idlib, a complete break in Russo-Turkish relations is actually not beneficial to either state. Both countries now have vested economic interests ranging from the Turkish Stream pipeline to the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant that Russia has invested heavily in. However, despite these joint projects, Moscow is also becoming increasingly frustrated with Turkey as it refused to fulfill a number of key commitments to resolve the Idlib crisis. As part of the Sochi agreement, Ankara was to separate jihadists operating in Idlib from so-called moderate forces who were willing to engage in dialogue with Damascus in the political process. Rather, this failure to do so demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of militants in Idlib belong to radical factions, particularly the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front.

Erdoğan has shown he is willing to go to all expenses to defend his country’s interests in Idlib, so much so that he is willing to purchase Patriots and continue to fund terrorist organizations, all while Turkey spirals into a deeper economic crisis as the Turkish lira continues to lose value. Encouraged by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg endorsement of Turkey’s position on Idlib, Erdoğan will likely be unrelenting to achieve his goals of a neo-Ottoman Empire.

However, Erdoğan knew the U.S. would not sell Patriots to Turkey. Rather, this movie is to serve two purposes – signal to Russia that Turkey might be moving away from it, and open dialogue with Washington to normalize relations. However, both the U.S. and Russia know this is a bluff. Washington has not responded to the Patriot sale offer the way that Ankara would have hoped and Russia has relentlessly continued its bombing campaign against Turkish-backed jihadists in Idlib.

It is likely that the U.S. will only offer to sell the Patriots on a set of conditions such as ending purchases of Russian military equipment. If Turkey is to do this, it would demonstrate that Ankara is firmly back in NATO’s fold – and if it does not do this, it would show that Erdoğan was making a bluff and is all alone in the Idlib mishap. Either way, Turkey is not going to war with Russia as it has to many vested and cooperated economic interests, and by the same token will not be able to pressure Russia out of Idlib or stop its backing of the Syrian military.

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Olivia Kroth
February 26, 2020

“Turkey is not going to war with Russia as it has to many vested and cooperated economic interests, and by the same token will not be able to pressure Russia out of Idlib or stop its backing of the Syrian military.”

Thank you very much for this sound and sane analysis, Paul.

BobValdez
BobValdez
February 26, 2020

Frankly, Moscow is well aware of Erdogollum’s “ambition” and will in no way abandon Syria to apease Turkey. All it will take is Turkish troops killing Russian servicmen, or a shoot down of a Russian plane or helicopter and the gloves will come off in Syria. Erdogollum will be taught a lesson. The seppos will be warned to stay out of the fight. Having said all that, all hell is very likely to break loose.

Mike
Mike
Reply to  BobValdez
February 26, 2020

Last time Turkey shot down a Russian plane, Russia did… nothing! What makes you think they will this time? What about the size of Turkey military wise… Russia will never do anything to Turkey pal!

Terry R
Terry R
Reply to  Mike
February 26, 2020

In fact they used economic levers to bring the Turkish economy to a state of crisis……Russian tourism being one of these(banning all charter flights, preventing of tour firms selling Turkish holidays) halting the activities of Turkish firms in Russia and delaying the start of Turkstream for 2 years.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Terry R
February 27, 2020

Furthermore Russia stopped imports from Turkey to Russia, especially food, which hurt the Turkish economy. So Erdogan apologized quickly to be able to send Turkish tomatoes to Russia again …. When money is concerned, attitudes change fast.

ruca
ruca
Reply to  Mike
February 27, 2020

Apparently you are unaware of the aftermath.

BobValdez
BobValdez
Reply to  Mike
February 27, 2020

I wasn’t going to reply to your obviously stupid response, but it seems Terry R and Olivia beat me to it. Perhaps you should do some actual research BEFORE you stick your size 14 in your mouth.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  BobValdez
February 27, 2020

Well, Bob, I have noticed in this section and in others that their are always a few agents provocateurs among the commentators. As long as they are polite, I answer them. Why not?

Cudwieser
Cudwieser
February 26, 2020

Who’s going to depose Eddy first? I give 20:1 America will see him out and put a more ‘moderate’ ally in charge. One less ambitious and protective of American interests. 10:1 Russia have Eddy by the nuts and will force his hand causing great embarrassment and eventual internal strife to depose him 50:1 the EU send in a task force to up end the apple cart. This is risky as the EU stand to suffer great fall out regardless if Eddy is deposed or not. 30:1 another internal strife occurs beyond anyone’s control causing a potential power vacuum to be… Read more »

William H Warrick III MD
William H Warrick III MD
February 26, 2020

It won’t work because Patriot missiles don’t work.

William H Warrick III MD
William H Warrick III MD
February 26, 2020

Russia and Turkey have had 12 wars since the beginning of the Russian Empire. The score is Russia 7 Turkey 3 with 2 ties. The Sultan better not try # 13 or else Vlad will send these guys to kick his a#%.

thevelvetrocket.com/2015/04/07/painting-of-the-day-reply-of-the-zaporozhian-cossacks-to-sultan-mehmed-iv-of-the-ottoman-empire

Full size version:

thevelvetrocket.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/repin-reply-of-the-zaporozhian-cossacks-to-sultan-mehmed-iv-of-the-ottoman-empire.jpg

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  William H Warrick III MD
February 26, 2020

It is always pleasant to read what people write that are well versed in world history.

cudwieser
cudwieser
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
February 27, 2020

Nice to get a somewhat objective and alternate view. God bless the internet.

Olivia Kroth
February 27, 2020

TASS:

Putin congratulates Erdogan on his birthday

ANKARA, February 26. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a message of congratulations to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his birthday, the Russian Embassy in Turkey informed on Wednesday.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a congratulatory message to President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his birthday,” the Russian diplomatic mission stated.

https://tass.com/politics/1124091

Olivia Kroth
February 27, 2020

TASS: Russia, Turkey to continue consultations on Syria’s Idlib on February 27 – agency — Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier he hoped a lasting ceasefire could be reached in Idlib as a result of the talks between Ankara and Moscow ANKARA, February 26. /TASS/. Russian-Turkish consultations on the situation in Syria’s Idlib finished on Wednesday in Ankara to be continued on February 27, Anadolu Agency reported. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier he hoped a lasting ceasefire could be reached in Idlib as a result of the talks between Ankara and Moscow. The situation in Idlib deteriorated… Read more »

Citizenfitz
Citizenfitz
February 27, 2020

Putins pulling hard on the ropes but Erdogans determined to be a loose cannon.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Citizenfitz
February 27, 2020

No, not really. The Turkish Mr. Erdogan just likes antics and histrionics. He is a theatrical actor. Many Mediterranean characters are like that. They love to see the sparks fly … while Mr. Putin is a cool and composed, very self-disciplined man. I have never heard him raise his voice yet, at least not in public. And his political measures are extremely controlled. Erdogan and Putin are very different types of men, but they get along well.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
February 27, 2020

Furthermore, both countries, Russia and Turkey, are trying to gain control over Syria, the Middle Eastern region and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Looking at the size of Turkey and Russia, their military power, their resources – it is easy to guess which country will prevail.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
February 27, 2020

Mr. Erdogan is trying to gain more leverage by “flirting” with the US, but it won’t help him much. Russia is Russia! And Turkey is Turkey (with or without those US Patriot missiles)!

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