Ultimate normalization: Syria-Turkey talks | Column

Donald Trump’s years as President of the United States will be remembered not only for the way he disunited the country, but also for the way he sowed the seeds of antagonism among traditional friends around the world. . Take the Middle East: Yemen was on the verge of uniting again, but Trump encouraged young, inexperienced Arab leaders to broaden and deepen the fratricide in the country. If Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government in Israel is forced to choose between a pan and a fire, it is because the Israeli nation has been given false hope that regional peace can be established without making amends. with its Arab population and neighboring Palestinians. Again, the culprit was Trump whose approach to peace in the Middle East was similar to a real estate deal between vying buyers. Israel is about to celebrate its 75th anniversary away from the joy of celebration.

Fortunately, Trump was unable to spread his threat in the region despite the fact that the neocons he inherited from former President Barack Obama’s administration, which were passed on to the incumbent President’s administration Joe Biden, are still able to enact their misdeeds. However, fortunately again, the regional governments seem aware of the calamities that could arise if American exceptionalism were not rejected. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are leading the post-American normalization process; they mend their ties with their Arab and other Muslim brothers. Meanwhile, the issue of Yemen seems to be moving closer to a final and peaceful solution.

The only thorn that seems to remain in the region is Syria. In fact, it is not a thorn but a thorn, fully embedded in the skin of many nations. Jordan and Turkey top the list of such nations. Russia should also be on this list, not only as a victim, but also as an inducer and provoker of trouble.

One can understand, if not appreciate, the first Soviet but now Russian desire to keep Syria as a bridgehead in its historic quest to reach the warm seas; however, no one can see the logic in Moscow in accepting the brutality of the Baath regime in Syria under father and son, Hafez and Bashar Assad, when it exerted no corrective influence during the tumultuous years of the Arab Spring. . The peace-loving Syrian people have attempted to hold free and fair elections in their country, at least twice – in spring 2013 and in mid-2015 – nearly toppling the Assad regime. But, Russian President Vladimir Putin (and the Iranian mullahs) came to the regime’s rescue, risking full-scale civil war and ultimately bringing 40% of the country under US occupation.

The story of those years is long and remains to be written; but today, thanks to American concern over the inglorious and criminal Russian war in Ukraine, Bashar Assad appears to be the closest he has ever come to reaching a peaceful solution in Syria since the early days of the protest in 2011. After a quarter of a million dead, 1.3 people fleeing to Jordan and another 3.4 million emigrating to Turkey, the Baath regime appears to approve of the return of the Syrian people. Last week, Assad issued a legislative decree, granting blanket amnesty to Syrians who committed terrorist crimes before April 30, 2022. It refers to Syrians he has targeted with barrel bombs for demanding “terrorists “for free and fair elections since they took up arms to defend themselves. themselves and their families, but this is not the time to nitpick over terminology.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced a plan to facilitate the voluntary return of one million Syrian refugees to their country, with the support of national and international non-governmental organizations. Erdoğan made the comments via teleconference during the inauguration ceremony of a new project in Idlib, northern Syria, which will house 50,000 families. Since the general thaw in the political atmosphere in Syria, half a million Syrians have returned from Turkey. The number of refugees who have returned from Jordan is around 100,000.

Terrorism in the region

The normalization of Turkish-Syrian relations is important because it would not only guarantee the return of refugees but also prevent the dismemberment of the country. US forces that the Obama administration deployed to the country under the guise of fighting Daesh terrorists in Syria created, armed and trained the SDF, an umbrella group dominated by the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist group, the YPG, like their allies. There are organic links between the PKK, an internationally recognized terrorist organization, and its extension in Syria, the YPG, renamed by US Army General Raymond Thomas in 2015.

US forces now hold two-fifths of Syria under their occupation and with their help the SDF controls the Syrian oil fields.

The longer the US occupation of Syria drags on, the faster the ultimate neoconservative plan for the Middle East comes to fruition. The original plan was to create an autonomous “Kurdish” region in Iraq, pushing the people to declare independence from Iraq and eventually unite with Syrian Kurds to achieve the dream of “United Kurdistan”. of the late US President Woodrow Wilson. (Wilson’s map had parts of Turkey and Iran etched into this imaginary land. Wilson even submitted his map to the U.S. Congress in 1920.)

But the contemporary revival of this chimera has not worked: the Iraqi Kurds have never agreed to merge with a region controlled by terrorists in Syria and the active intervention of Turkey to prevent an autonomous administration of the PKK in northern Syria does not put an end to it. Yet US occupation forces maintain pockets of so-called SDF-controlled “townships” in the region.

Russia and the Syrian regime must be aware of the dangers that migration has created in Syria: the country needs its people to return. Syria’s ethnic and sectarian/confessional balance is important not only in preventing US plans for a so-called Kurdish state, but also in countering Iranian dreams of creating a “Shia crescent” from Yemen to Lebanon.

The homes, schools and hospitals in northern Syria are important for the return of the population, but the population itself is important and necessary to keep the country in one piece. Erdoğan signaled the possibility of talks between the Syrian and Turkish governments. These talks could eventually pave the way for the final curtain.

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Sharon P. Juarez