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Syria: a "forced collaboration" between Russia and Turkey

2019-11-01T11:24:34.756Z

On Friday, 1 November, joint patrols between the Turkish and Russian armies in the northeastern border area of ​​Syria began, after a collaboration under the agreements reached last week.



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A Russian patrol in the city of Darbasiyah, northeast of Syria, near the Turkish border on October 30, 2019. DELIL SOULEIMAN / AFP

On Friday, 1 November, joint patrols between the Turkish and Russian armies in the northeastern border area of ​​Syria began, after a collaboration under the agreements reached last week.

With our correspondent in Istanbul , Anne Andlauer

Russia announced on Tuesday that Kurdish forces had completely withdrawn from a 30-kilometer stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border , as well as the Manbij and Tall Rifaat regions. Turkey , which felt that the withdrawal was " incomplete ", intends to check the announcements of Moscow by conducting these joint patrols.

Since the beginning of the offensive, Russia has been playing mediators with the Kurdish forces , but also with the Syrian regime, which has regained a foothold in these territories that it had left more than seven years ago.

A possibly temporary collaboration

This joint patrol action between Russia and Turkey is a serious blow to the Syrian regime, Russia's ally, whose forces have also spread to the region.

Some fear a de facto annexation of part of Syria by Turkey. But for General Trinquand, former head of the French military mission to the UN, this collaboration may not last.

" It's going to be a temporary measure. In the Erdogan-Putin negotiation, Erdogan lost 300 kilometers of border. He was left 120 kilometers from the border, but agreed to do it jointly, to be sure to coordinate things . "

General Trinquand considers that this is a temporary measure, because the Russians will not be able to admit very long that the Turks are in Syria. " There is a moment when we must admit that the Turks have to leave, " he says.

" There is no good agreement, there is a forced collaboration. Forced for the Turks, because they have no choice, otherwise they end up facing Russia. Forced for the Russians, because today they can not concentrate all the means against the Turkish army. To get rid of Turkey from their American ally, for them it's a fantastic victory. So, they have to deal with all this. "

The former head of the French military mission to the UN considers that there is no good agreement, but a collaboration in the major interest of both. " It's something that will not last very long in Syria. This does not mean that there is not a good collaboration between Russians and Turks elsewhere. "

Main danger : armed groups

Outside this area, Ankara-backed militias clashed with Syrian regime forces all week. These various armed groups emerged from the rebellion against Bashar al-Assad. For General Trinquand, they represent the main danger of destabilization.

" This area of ​​control should normally show that Russians and Turks manage to control. Unfortunately, outside the area, it is likely that the Turks do not quite control the militia and there can be a lot of slippage. Do not be fooled, they are jihadists who were armed by Ankara. "

He also considers that " Erdogan is a Muslim Brother who was opposed to Bashar al-Assad and who armed jihadist groups. He lost the game, but he recovered a number of jihadists he armed. In so-called liberated zones, one comes back to jihadist applications with rogue methods . "

At a certain point, the Russians will have to show the biceps and probably use the air weapon against them, estimates General Trinquand.

" As it is in the context of the agreement with Turkey, Turkey will see that it does not control everything. Putin will be able to talk again with Erdogan, saying that since he does not control things, he could take control of the area. "

Source: rfi

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