By Payman Yazdani

Further cooperation among Iran, Russia and Turkey necessary in Syria: Logoglu

December 29, 2018

TEHRAN - A senior member of Turkey’s CHP says further cooperation among Iran, Russia and Turkey is necessary after the U.S. withdrawal from Syria.

After President Trump said he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, Turkey's president on Dec. 21 delayed operations against Kurdish forces in Syria.

Major players in and around Syria have started positioning their forces as discussions get underway on how to proceed once U.S. forces vacate the country and their fight against the last remnants of the ISIL.

Turkey vowed on Monday that the fight against ISIL would not be slowed by the U.S. withdrawal from Syria, where Ankara-backed groups reinforced their positions around the potential flashpoint town of Manbij.

While Ankara considers PYD and YPG as terrorist groups, these Kurdish groups have been U.S. close partners in Syria in the U.S. alleged fight against ISIL.

To know more about the opportunities and threats of the U.S. withdrawal from Syria for Turkey we reached out to Dr. Osman Faruk Logoglu, a senior member of Turkey’s Republican People's Party (CHP).

Touching upon the reasons behind the U.S. president’s decision to pull out from Syria, Logoglu said, “While a belated step in the right direction, the U.S. pullout alone is not necessarily a blessing without other powers leaving at the same. President Trump wishes to divert the attention of the American people from his domestic troubles, aims to please the average America family at the holiday season by bringing troops home and as in Afghanistan, wants to walk away from the cost of fighting ISIL in Syria.  These are all “America-first” reasons.”

Commenting on the consequences of the U.S. pullout he went on to say, “The withdrawal could, however, be of some value if it serves to energize the UN Geneva peace process for Syria.   Turkey could thus turn the US pullout into an opportunity by pressing for the formation of the constitutional committee and for it to start its deliberations.” 
  
He added, “With the pullout, President Trump has tendered the fight against ISIL to its coalition partners, but most particularly to Turkey.  He tweeted so specifically, saying President Erdogan is the person to finish ISIL. So now Turkey is faced with the double task of fighting both ISIL and PYD/YPG which for Ankara is the Syrian extension of the terrorist organization PKK.  In the meantime, the American decision is likely to push the PYD/YPG into a closer relationship with the Syrian government.  Any new military operations by Turkey could, therefore, be met with resistance from an alliance between Esad and PYD/YPG.”  

Referring to the significance of more cooperation among Iran, Russia, and Turkey after Trump’s game-changing act, Logoglu said, “Nuances among Turkey, Russia, and Iran will henceforth be more pronounced as their interests and priorities differ in Syria, especially now that the U.S. has changed the rules of the game.  There will thus be a need for tighter coordination between Turkey, Russia, and Iran, including on Ankara’s concerns and intended steps in Syria.”
  
Commenting on the possible Saudi’s role in the reconstruction of Syria and its possible destructive role and policies near Turkey’s borders, he said, “The reconstruction of Syria, once peace and stability are secured, will be a gigantic task.  It will be up to the Government of Syria who does what and under which conditions.  Like others, Saudi Arabia may take a role in rebuilding Syria – there is no problem with that. For Turkey, however, our neighbor Syria will always only be the people and the Government of Syria.  It is incumbent upon Turkey to develop a strategy for the post-conflict Syria and assume a major role in the country’s reconstruction.”

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