Meeting between Putin and Erdoğan: Power politics at its best

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Meeting between Putin and Erdoğan

In the near future it will probably not be possible to shoot in Syria anymore. The bad news: peace is far from coming.

Three fighters with guns are sitting on a wall looking into their smartphones.

Fighters of the rebels supporting Turkey in the Syrian city Tal Abjad Photo: Khalil Ashawi / Reuters

For six hours, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin fought over Syria, in the end Erdoğan essentially got what he wanted. Within six days (exactly 150 hours in which to keep the gun silent), Putin will ensure that a “security zone” is created along the Turkish-Syrian border from the Euphrates to Iraq, from which the armed Kurdish militia YPG has to withdraw completely ,

The section between Ras al-Ain and Tal Abjad, which the Turkish army and its Syrian auxiliaries have conquered in the past two weeks, remains under direct control of Turkey. For the remaining 330 km to the west and east of this zone, Syrian regimes and the Russian military will take control and ensure that the YPG is at least 30 km from the border with Turkey. The entire border strip will in future be monitored jointly by Russian-Turkish patrols.

Erdoğan got from Putin the maximum of what he could expect. He remains present with his own troops in Syria, even if Assad wanted by no means. Putin has made it clear to his protégé in Damascus that he has to swallow this toad. But Assad can take over the rest of northern Syria.

Just like Trump before him, Putin has now also dropped the Syrian Kurds. After the negotiations with Erdoğan he said only that the Kurds would have to get their legitimate place in the new, multi-ethnic Syria. Putin even wants to support the settlement of Syrian refugees in the security zone so that the Syrians from Turkey and elsewhere can soon “go home” again.

Kramp-Karrenbauers proposal has been done

All this is cynical power politics at its best. It can work in the short term, but in the long term it will not bring Syria peace and certainly not resolve the conflicts with the Kurdish minority in Turkey.

With the withdrawal of the US and the Sochi deal, the debate over an international security zone, which German Defense Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer has talked about too late, is also over. Syria is divided, the Bundeswehr will certainly not move to the Euphrates. At the end of October, the tediously constituted constitutional committee is to meet in Geneva for the first time, in which Assad confidants and selected opposition politicians are to seek a new constitution for Syria.

Nobody is involved in the democratic forces that triggered the revolt against Assad. It will probably not be shot in the near future in Syria. That is the good news. The bad thing is that peace does not come for a long time.

. (tagsToTranslate) Turkey Syria (t) Syria Civil War (t) Syria (t) Recep Tayyip Erdogan (t) Erdogan (t) Vladimir Putin (t) Middle East (t) Politics (t) taz (t) daily newspaper

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