The partnership started by Ankara, Moscow and Tehran was a triangle built to establish order and stability in Syria. Syria was the primary agreement, but whether it had “a confidential and greater objective” was a matter of curiosity.
“The problem had to be solved by the countries in the region.” This meant that the U.S. and its “flank guards” would be pushed out and it was implicitly accepted that the “undertakers,” who have now become a cliché reading, would not be addressed.
Astana and Sochi formed the start and middle components of the process. Geneva fell behind and was, as a matter of fact, crushed.
The point reached today is the story of how the problem was brought from the “field to the table.” Turkey, Russia and Iran achieved success on the field and they tied it to a political reconciliation process. However, there is no result yet.
Due to the specific dynamics of the table, the partnership established between the “troika” against “life-threatening situations” open to attacks, weakens it and, due to open wounds, makes it susceptible to infections.
For example, right now, Iran almost seems to be considered the “biggest loser” in Syria. Since it is impossible for Israel to remain passive while the balances are being established in Syria – as sensed during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest visit to Moscow – it appears as though Russia, Turkey, the U.S. and Israel are collectively sweeping Iran away. There is reasonable cause for this misconception, of course: The U.S. and Israel are sending messages that if Iran is pushed out, they may leave the gains in Syria to the dominant actors.
Despite being thrown out of Syria, the U.S. is leaving time bombs on the sensitivities between the three countries. Though the damage is immediately compensated at the leadership level, its sound is echoing throughout the entire region.
The files that are currently shelved between Ankara and Moscow are the same. Nobody can explain the terrorist who appeared in Sochi. The Turkish Foreign Ministry statement in relation to Russian President Vladimir Putin saying he will “personally” take care of matters is probably in reference to the “Russias within Russia” and the approaching election in March, but who can vouch for whom?
Moreover, the Astana-Sochi course had set out to solve the problem “alone,” because others were turning the “Great Middle East” into a bloodbath and building dark corridors which you cannot escape from being pulled into when the time comes. Yet today, Sochi is seeking “legitimacy.” It is pleased with the U.N.’s participation. It is also winking at the U.K. and France, but is rejected, and this encourages the U.S. to say, “I’m out too.”
But is this necessary?
For a multiplayer table of this kind to be successful, rather than everybody winning, all need to be convinced that nobody will win. In time, this will further increase the burden on the partners’ shoulders, exhaust the solution and eventually be made to stumble over the big and small traps set to weaken it.
A NEW AND BIG CHALLENGE IS NECESSARY BOTH AT THE TABLE AND ON THE FIELD
There are two matters: One causes great surprise while the other creates high expectation.
Everybody is having a hard time digesting the fact that the U.S. “has no plan” in Syria in particular and in the Middle East in general. Even the Turkish “fans” of Washington, which has, to date, been praised for setting up a “game within the game,” which is believed to have not only a “plan B,” but also plans C, D and E and, as a matter of fact, have the capacity to implement them all at the same time, are close to believing that it is not even able to manage itself.
The high expectation, on the other hand, is for Russia and Turkey, which are at the peak of their gains both on the field and at the table and are continuing to win, and to do “something” to counter their stupefied rival.
The sole data available is the myth that there is an agreement between Moscow and Ankara “on a secret/final objective.”
What is that “thing”?
TURKEY, RUSSIA, PAKISTAN, QATAR, AFGHANISTAN
Readers of this column started reading about “Hell’s Bow” spanning the U.K. and the Pacific years ago, not weeks or months ago.
Today, the Mediterranean-Iran line of this bow appears to be the hottest line. Now, it is going to become the Mediterranean-Afghanistan.
Because Pakistan, Russia, Iran, Turkey and Qatar may start a political – who knows, a military – process specific to Afghanistan. If this happens, China will not stop. It will automatically take the seat on this end of the seesaw.
As a matter of fact, it is possible to include Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Baku’s name alone will suffice for us, the Kazakhstan leadership is critical in terms of a future Afghanistan move. It should be noted that Astana, which breaks the ice in any kind of tension between Ankara and Moscow and which gave its capital city’s name/hosted the start of the Syria process, is only recently being specially hosted at the Oval Office.
In other words, there is a network between Pakistan, Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and Qatar. It is possible to bend the U.S.’s Afghanistan strategy and such a move will be suitable for the pursuit of or to build “justice and rights,” just like in Syria. It is also strong enough to cripple Hell’s Bow.
It does not necessarily need to be the same address, but in form, Astana II might come. Syria may be repeated in Afghanistan (“Rusya Afghanistan’da arabuculuk istiyor” [Russia wants mediation in Afghanistan], Jan 17, 2018, AA).
The historical, geopolitical and strategic bases and developments of such a step will be limitless.
In other words, the secret agreement, the “essence” of the Syria agreement is purification from “Westoxification.”