, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
If true, this explains why the Syrian withdrawal is going to be a fast one. Erdogan likely credibly signaled to intervene in the east of Euphrates, and most likely agreed to *something* in return. What something, we’ll see soon. Spectrum is huge... +
Key question is US policy over Iranian presence in Syria. If the intent is [still] to degrade such presence, Erdogan may have agreed to “participate.” A more likely deal would involve Turkey assuming the chief “anti-ISIS” actor in Syria. Still, more likely, but not very likely..+
What about YPG? Turkey might have given assurances that it will not go after YPG, but once the US leaves, nothing stops Ankara. Well, nothing other than Russia. It is likely that YPG will be compelled to make a deal with Assad regime. Eventually. Why?... +
Assad wants a unified Syria, and would turn against YPG if they don’t cave in. The worst case scenario is Assad and Erdogan making a deal. YPG can’t fight one all by itself, a team-up against YPG would be disastrous. Best bet to cave in to Assad... +
To be clear: US withdrawal alone does not complicate the Syrian debacle. Nor does it simplify it. It is a total mess for years. US withdrawal simply opens gates for new possibilities. In theory, TR can now help Assad wrap up all Syria. In practice, this would come with a price...
Turkey’s current dilemma right now involves its own local allies, Free Syrian Army. To get rid of the YPG challenge once and for all by making a deal with Assad, Ankara needs to sacrifice its local clients, including those in #Idlib...
Erdogan will likely be tempted to try to have the cake and eat it too: don’t sacrifice Free Syrian Army and go after YPG. In fact, it’d be hard to go after YPG without FSA, and very difficult to sell them out to Assad in post-YPG Syria, after making them go after YPG.
So, unless someone comes up with a *radically* creative solution or a deal, Syria will remain a complicated mess for the foreseeable future. One puzzle at a time: as I mentioned, what Turkey agreed to, the big unknown at the time, will be the critical element in the short run.
What about ISIS? I join the folks who argue that ISIS may re-merge, though I’ve long argued that ISIS does not need to re-emerge in Iraq or Syria. They need some territory, somewhere. Still, Syria will be one of the most likely candidates.
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