Russia and Turkey Search for the Endgame in Syria, With or Without Assad

The Kremlin has one overriding objective in Syria — to complete the full reestablishment of Assad’s control over the whole country so that Russia can at last extract all the economic and strategic benefits from its vassal state.Reconstruction would begin, and soon after the attempt to turn Syria into the critical link in a new network of pipelines connecting the Gulf to Europe. These are enticing plans, but their realization is still dependent on breaking the popular resistance in Idlib.

It must have come as a surprise to Russian strategists that — long after the West has lost interest in its fate —Turkey continues to stand by the besieged city. Why is that? As it turned out, Turkey has plans of its own.

For Ankara, Assad is not a solution.

All he promises is a perpetual state of war against the Syrian people, the consequences of which would, in great measure, be borne by Turkey. Refugees would continue to flow and instability would reign for the foreseeable future. While the European Union thinks of the Middle East as a distant planet, Turkey is a Middle Eastern country and cannot protect itself from the chaos engulfing the region.

Source: The Moscow Times

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