Mohamed Nour al-Din: What happens in demilitarized zone will not develop into open, comprehensive war

"The Syrian regime is dissatisfied with the Turkish occupation of Syrian territory, but it is forced to take into account the Russian position," the academician and researcher in Turkish affairs and director of the Center for Strategic Studies in Beirut, Dr. Mohammad Nour al-Din said and added, "What is happening in the demilitarized zone will not develop into open war between the two sides of the conflict.

The academician and the researcher in the Turkish affairs  and the head of the strategic studies center in Beirut the Dr. Mohamed Nour al-Din explained in an interview conducted by our agency (ANHA) the mutual interests between Russia and Turkey and the results of the conflicts in the so-called demilitarized zone in Syria and the impact of the Syrian crisis over Turkey.

 The text of the interview is as follow:

What are the reasonable conditions which let Turkey to occupy part of the lands of north Syria and what are the kind of these conditions?

The occupation of Jrablos, Afrin and Idlib was as part of deal with Russia in August 9-2016 between Erdogan and Putin which led to buy S-400 from Russia and oil and gaz line passed by the Black Sea and to Turkey then to Europe and the establishment of a nuclear reactor in Mersin of Turkey and all these are Russian gains.

What are the objective conditions that have enabled Turkey to occupy part of the territory of northern Syria, what is the kind of these conditions?

Turkey's occupation of Jrablos, Afrin and Idlib as part of a deal with Russia concluded on August 9, 2016 between Erdogan and Putin and decided to buy Turkey S-400 missiles from Russia and the line of oil and gas passing through the Black Sea and Turkey to Europe and Russia's establishment of a nuclear reactor in Mersin, these are Russian gains.

In contrast, Russia gave the green light to Turkey which launched the Euphrates shield operation and then the Olive Branch and then the demilitarized zone in Idlib and construction of 12 Turkish military observation points, as well as that Turkey has a role in the formation of the drafting committee of the Syrian constitution and thus Turkey is back to exercise its political role in the Syrian crisis as well as occupation, thus Turkey became a field player in the Syrian crisis and these are all gains for Turkey.

Is the silence of the Syrian government and the support of Russia towards Turkey's occupation of part of Syrian territory is an undeclared green light?

For Syria, the Syrian government agrees to the occupation of Turkey for part of the Syrian territory and expressed its resentment at the price that Turkey is receiving from Russia at the expense of Syrian territory, but the problem with Damascus is that it cannot move and achieve field achievements without Russian support. Under Russian pressure on the Damascus government, the Syrian state was not in a position to act, and therefore it does not agree with the current situation but is forced to take the Russian position into account.

In light of the recent conflict between Turkish and Russian interests in Idlib, will Russia put pressure on Turkey to leave Syrian territory or will there be a new Russian-Turkish deal?

Russia will not pressure Turkey to remove it from the Syrian territory. This is part of a deal between Russia and Turkey, as I mentioned earlier, and this is what is happening in the mutual attacks here and there in Hama and Idlib or the suburbs of Aleppo, and it will not develop into an open comprehensive war between the Syrian army on the one hand and the armed opposition and the Turkish army on the other. Therefore, things will remain under control in the absence of Russia's desire to put pressure on Turkey because of the tangled interests between Russia and Turkey at this stage.

In light of the severe economic crisis experienced by Turkey, what is the fate of the Turkish government amid its interference in Syrian affairs and occupation of its territory?

There is no doubt that the Syrian crisis and the Syrian refugees in Turkey have a negative effect on the Turkish economy and more on the social stability of the population in Turkey, but in fact the presidential system of Erdogan does not seem to be affected by this situation despite some of the decline in the major municipalities in Turkey, so that If the US and foreign pressures do not escalate further, I think that the Turkish government is able to adapt to the current situation and continue with the same momentum that it has been for several years now.



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