The rumors circulating that the U.S. is going to withdraw its defense systems and warcraft from Saudi Arabia; the prisoner exchange with Iran; the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Kuwait, and Qatar seeking smoother relations with Iran; an agreement between Washington and Tehran over the Iraq-Baghdad administration for a new government; the U.S. decision allowing Iran to continue selling electricity to Iraq; new and significant developments carrying on Syria through numerous channels; the news that Bashar Assad is no longer in Russia’s good books; James Jeffrey’s statement saying, “We are working on this with Russia”; prior to that, the statement, “Those who came to this country after 2011 – U.S., Turkey, Iran – should get out of Syria” ; Israel’s declaration along the lines of, “Up until now we were trying to stop Iran from coming to Syria, now we are fighting to get it out of Syria”; additionally, France and the U.S. bringing together the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the People’s Protection Units (YPG), and the Syrian Kurdish National Council in northern Syria in efforts to both gather opposition under a single roof, and form an international interlocutor.
You can consider this massive paragraph a wing of the Great Middle East. The second wing is the new evaluations including the Mediterranean basin, including Libya, then Egypt, Malta, Italy and Tunisia.
For example, it is unknown whether it is a natural result of the events in the region or due to the political and epidemic crises pushing the players into new positions, but the expectations in Turkey-Israel relations can also be added to this.
The question is, “What kind of a synchronicity is there between these simultaneous developments?”
What is Turkey’s role in all of this?
The Foreign Ministry’s latest statement concerning Libya, “Attacks targeting Turkey’s interests will turn [Khalifa] Haftar into a legitimate target,” is somewhat a message sent to the forces supporting him, and partially a final warning to Haftar. It can be interpreted into street lingo as, “We will crush you.”
It is also clear that there is a sort of interconnection between Syria and Libya. The solutions and who will have a say at both tables is a serious power game; the area covered by Turkey in both countries and at the diplomacy table is preserving its power – towards the final.
However, the relationship between Syria and Libya is also related to Israel and Palestine. The map expands in rings and pulls you in even if you remain passive.
Russia’s Presidential Special Envoy for the Middle East and Africa State Mikhail Bogdanov and Russian Ambassador for the U.S. Markus Ederer held a telephone conversation concerning Syria and Libya. In addition to the latest political developments in the Middle East and North Africa, the Libya and Syria crises, they discussed the Israel-Palestine conflict. In order to facilitate the negotiations between Israel and Palestine based on the two-state principle, the parties underscored the importance of Russia and the EU, and especially the Middle East Quad to coordinate efforts. (“Russian, EU envoys discuss Syrian, Libyan conflicts,” 07/05, TASS.)
Looking at the big picture, it is obvious Syria is being purified of Iran and reduced in Iraq. A U.S.-Russia cooperation is in question in Syria; and in Iraq, preparations are being made for a joint settlement in Iraq as the conflict between the U.S. and Iran simmers down. How it will work, whether the complications will allow for it is a different story.
Assad’s future is essentially a process that depends on Idlib. Ankara’s attitude here has depicted Turkey’s real power to the world’s superpowers – primarily to Russia. Even Moscow did not expect this much. If Assad’s exit is being discussed today, it is partially thanks to the Turkish moves made there.
Hence, there is a stagnation in the war in Syria and Iraq. The stagnation can be discerned in the Iran-provoked attacks on the U.S. units in Iraq in recent weeks. The Pentagon and the Iraqi government are going to hold meetings in Baghdad in June regarding the U.S. military presence in the country.
The U.S. is not going to leave Iraq. That would be going against its nature. How Israel will perceive this is related to Syria. Recent Israeli analyses state that Iran’s presence in Syria will diminish. In this case, Russia is taking a different path. It appears it has different ideas regarding Iran and Syria.
It is clear that the developments are breeding new results specific to the three countries on Turkey’s southern border. They all concern us and require our intervention. Thus, this requires Turkey to implement multiple policies. Not to overcome crises but to boost advantages this time. The complex situation allows Turkey a much more advantageous hand.
Turkey, Russia, Israel, and the U.S. are in all of the Middle East, not as an alliance but as decision-makers, and from time to time they hold the reins together in partnership, and sometimes in opposition.
The essentially anticipated event is the U.S. presidential elections. Only after elections will alliances and policies become tangible. For example, in the event that Donald Trump is re-elected, Russia wants to continue its rapprochement with the U.S.
For Kremlin, a little Iran means a little Israel. It means the fading of crises in critical areas. It means passes in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. A new wheel is turning now, one where Turkey is the natural actor, the alliance’s partner in strategic terms.
Under normal conditions, the U.S.-China is next on the list.
That is a difficult subject.
Ankara is going to make a choice here!
But unlike everyone else, a surprise choice.
This is how “the Middle East’s secret treasure” is going to be revealed!
The abnormal condition is Trump’s defeat. In that case, together as the world, we are going to have to sit and rewrite all the scenarios.