Turkish authorities seek to use the crisis in Syria’s Idlib province to create permanent Turkish military presence in the Arab Republic, says Andrey Baklanov, deputy chairman of Russian Diplomat Association Council.
“Event in Idlib revealed Ankara’s real intentions. These intentions are to use the unique ‘historical chance’ – the crisis and the war in Syria – to permanently deploy its military contingent on this state’s territory,” the expert told TASS.
The Turkish government justifies its policy by the alleged threat of “Kurdish militants” infiltration, but have no real evidence of such events, Baklanov said.
He reminded that Ankara has commenced engineer reinforcement of three enclaves in northern Syria with a total area of 8,000 square kilometers. Besides, Turkey conducts a so-called ‘civilian development’ of Syrian territories: it forms government bodies out of Damascus’s control; the schools begin teaching Turkish language.
“Ankara has no interest for the situation in these enclaves to become subject to international study and opinion. To that extent, maintaining of ‘high temperature’ of Idlib conflict seeks, among other things, to distract attention from what is happening in Northern Syria,” the analyst continued.
According to Baklanov, Russia finds itself in a complicated situation. He reminded that during discussion of military assistance, Moscow said that the assistance would be provided to combat terrorism and that Kremlin would refrain from taking part in “beef of regional countries.”
Turkish actions, “who openly coordinates with the terrorists,” force Russia to “determine the parameters of its military and political behavior” in this highly dangerous situation, the expert says, adding that he believes that Moscow’s reaction must be hard enough.
“’Flexible’ tactical policy on [Russia’s] western border has failed to prove itself. NATO’s advancement and increase in its activity near our borders continued through all these years. We cannot allow Russian positions to be ‘undercut’ from the south as well,” he opined.
Moscow’s energetic and initiative position on Syrian affairs “with well-calculated and optimal force component” has led to growth of Russia’s international authority.
“It would be important to continue this policy in interests of strengthening of our national security,” he underscored.