In Focus |Will Turkey launch a new military operation east of the Euphrates?
In recent days, Russia warned the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against allowing American forces to enter Tal Tamr northwest of al-Hasakah or face the consequence of Russian forces withdrawing from the area.
The SDF ignored the Russian threat and informed its members and the local population in the area between Ras al-Ain and Darbasiyah to mobilize and prepare to evacuate their homes at any moment due to the possibility of Turkey launching a new military operation on the area.
QSD’s failure to abide by Russia’s instructions is a violation of the Sochi Memorandum signed by Russia and Turkey on October 23, 2019 as well as the Hmeimim Understanding signed between Russia and SDF on October 13, 2019.
Russia’s withdrawal from the region means it loses its presence in al-Hasakah province and its access to the Remlan oil field at the expense of Washington’s return.
Russia does not intend to withdraw and the warning to QSD aims at putting pressure on QSD. Even if there was a serious intention to partially withdraw from a specific region, this does not mean that Turkey will immediately undertake a new military operation in the event the United States does not return to the region.
Ankara cannot implement a new military operation without an understanding with the United States, which may be difficult for President Trump to reach at this sensitive time in his election campaign.
However, the end of the Sochi Memorandum provides Turkey with an opportunity to exert maximum pressure on the United States and Russia. Turkey’s active diplomacy may contribute to creating conditions for launching a new military operation or obtaining additional gains before the implementation of the safe zone agreed upon with one of the parties.
Unit of Analysis and Thinking - Jusoor for Studies
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