Recently, detachments of the Syrian Arab Army attacked the positions of the Turkish military. An attack on the Turkish checkpoint in the Syrian province of Idlib, which Damascus has not controlled for a long time, was recorded. In this governorate, various anti-government groups, many of whom are openly terrorist, have long seized power. The Turkish Ministry of Defense reported that mortar shelling of an observation post was made from the Tall Bazan region. There were seem no dead, but serious material damage has been done. In the same statement, the Ministry of Defense talked about certain actions carried out “jointly with Russia.”
It is noteworthy that this is the second case of an attack on the positions of the Turks in the last few days. Two days before this incident, Observation Point No. 10, located not far from the one who had been shot yesterday, came under fire. In the first case, there were even casualties – three Turkish soldiers were injured, while there was also serious material damage.
Of course, all this caused serious discontent of the Turkish side. One of the first to speak about this was President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. First, he warned that Ankara will not silently look at how its military are attacking, and if something like this happens again, measures will be taken. Then he switched to the peacekeeping goals of the Turkish contingent, which seeks to stop the death of people in Syria.
What are the geopolitical shifts, which are caused by Ankara?
However, the case was repeated, and now it is not entirely clear what Erdogan will undertake, so that his words are not considered unfounded. But for the time being, the country’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cаvuşoglu is being blown away instead. He, echoing the president, declared that such provocations were unacceptable and promised to respond. At the same time, he reproached Russia and Iran. According to him, Moscow and Tehran should “hold back” the Syrian forces, but this does not happen. Previously, he was not so harsh – a couple of days ago, discussing the first shelling, Cavusoglu said that in Idlib they could not yet achieve a complete truce, but Turkey and Russia are successfully working in this direction. As you can see, the parties are working, although they don’t get much, and it seems that the situation is getting worse every day.
Russian political scientist and orientalist Oleg Gushchin believes that this whole story is very likely a provocation.
- You know, people living in Gaza have such a joke. When they have bad relationships, one of them threatens the other with launching a home-made rocket from his garden to Israel. This will cause reciprocal fire and the consequences for the abuser are understandable. I think it’s about the same here. The terrorists, being near the Turkish observation post, fired one or two missiles towards the Syrian positions, and then quickly disappeared. Assad, of course, took the call and responded with mortar fire. It may show strange that not quite the area where the attack originated is attacked, but whoever knows the Arabs can understand. Often for them fifty meters to the right, fifty meters to the left means nothing. However, there is a certain fault of the Turks themselves too – why do they allow militant groups to approach their guarded military facilities so closely? It is dangerous just such incidents.
– You do not admit that the Syrian army purposefully attacked the Turkish military?
– I do not think that they have reached such. Of course, they are desperate guys, but to directly conflict with the Turks is unlikely. Especially since they are just a little bit, but they still need to understand what kind of turmoil can begin in the event of an exacerbation. Let me remind you that the Second World War began because of a provocation in Glejvice. A penny staging, but it served as a pretext for the most extensive bloodshed in history. Of course, the situation is different now and the parties have different ambitions.
– Does this Idlib provocation threaten with any aggravation?
- This tripartite alliance of Russia, Turkey, and Iran was not built so long and so hard to destroy everything because of some bandits. I think that the parties will be able to agree. Of course, everyone has their own goals and interests, but together they can achieve more.