Russia is making steps for Syria and Turkey to overcome the decade-long challenges. In the meantime, Turkey is gearing up to kick off new round of operations in Syrian soils.
According to three sources, Syria is refusing Russian efforts to mediate a meeting between President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and himself. Since the start of Syrian civil war, the two sides have been engaged in a more than ten-year violent feud.
Two Turkish individuals familiar with the issue, including a top member, disagreed with the assertion that Damascus was holding up progress. According to the insider, everything was on track for the leaders to eventually meet.
The government of Erdogan supports the rebels who have attempted to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. It has further charged the Syrian president with state sponsored terrorism, claiming that under his reign, peace attempts could not proceed.
By funding a variety of militants, including Islamist groups, and conducting multiple military incursions within northern Syria, according to Assad, Turkey has advocated violence. After attributing responsibility for an Istanbul explosion to Syrian Kurdish rebels, Ankara is preparing for a potential new operation.
Russia aided Assad in changing the course of the conflict in his favor. Moscow claims it intends to invite the two leaders together for a compromise in discussions and is looking for a political solution to the issue. Erdogan has expressed a desire for reconciliation.
Speaking a few days after shaking hands with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, he insisted again and time again that he was unable to meet someone who had been installed in office by a coup. But he said that Turkey “might also get things on track with Syria.”
Turkey Is on a Compromise Track
He stated, “There can be no animosity in politics,” during a weekend television debate. Three people with familiarity over Syria’s stance towards potential negotiations, however, claimed that Assad had turned down an offer to meet with Vladimir Putin and Erdogan.
According to two of the individuals, Damascus thought such a meeting may help Erdogan ahead of the Turkish polls the following year. Assad is concerned about Ankara’s probable intention to send some of million-number Syrian refugees back home.
“Why give Erdogan a win for nothing? Before the elections, there won’t be any reconciliation.” The individual went on to say that Syria had also rejected the notion of a conference of foreign ministers.
A diplomat with knowledge of the idea served as the third source. Syria “sees such a conference as pointless if it does not arrive with something substantial, and what they have requested for so far is the complete evacuation of Turkish forces,” the individual said.
Turkish authorities stated this week that the army will be prepared for a ground invasion into northern Syria in just a few days. Turkish forces have previously attacked the area with artillery and aircraft.
However, the administration has also stated that it is open to negotiations with Damascus if the topic of border security is brought up. Ankara desires that migrants be relocated to “safe zones” and that Syrian Kurdish YPG combatants be driven off the border.
The top Turkish source said that Assad and Erdogan may meet “in the not too distant future. Putin is gradually laying the groundwork for this.”
It would mark the start of a significant transformation in Syria and benefit Turkey greatly. Russia would gain as well, considering that it is overburdened in many sectors.