The United States studied the possibility of transferring the opposition in Syria of weapons to fight with videoconferencing. On Sunday, October 23, reported The Washington Post.
According to the newspaper, it was about «the fastest possible delivery of a larger amount of firepower, supported by the CIA forces, who could help these groups to protect themselves from the Russian aviation and artillery». In particular, the plan included sending «mobile anti-aircraft installations».
The project, as of the publication were discussed at the «recent meetings of President Barack Obama and his team of national security». And «not approved but not rejected the plan remained in limbo,» writes The Washington Post. This program «was a Central element of US strategy to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with the purpose of his resignation,» however, the administration «strengthened the doubts» about the possible results of its extension for the Russian armed forces on the territory of Syria.
According to the newspaper, the skepticism on this matter was expressed by the U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry. He noted that «new weapons can lead to the death of Russian servicemen and, in turn, to a confrontation with Moscow.» In the US administration have also come to the conclusion that mobile air defense system «would be difficult to conceal from the terrorist groups», which could use them to destroy civilian Airliners.
In the end, «a key figure in the Obama administration», according to the article, insisted that the primary task will be to fight against the terrorist group «Islamic state» * and not with Assad.
This decision adds fuel to the conflict between Washington and a key member of the coalition headed by the USA — Turkey. As for Ankara task No. 1 is just fighting the Assad regime, and not the defeat of ISIS. The representative of Turkey has already told The Washington Post that Ankara will «consider unilateral measures to provide heavier weapons,» Turkey-backed groups in Syria.
If Ankara really starts delivery of heavy weapons to the Syrian «moderate opposition», it threatens to confuse Moscow and thwart in recent months the Turkish-Russian rapprochement. Clear against whom in Syria, the Turkish guns will be directed against Russia. But if «opposition» is shot down our plane, Moscow’s relations with Ankara will automatically return to a year ago — in a period of significant cooling due to destroyed by the Turks near the border with Syria, our front-line bomber su-24M, who was returning from a mission.
What is behind the actions of Ankara, as events will develop in the middle East?
— The Washington Post message that Ankara may start supplying heavy weapons to the Syrian opposition, is information spreading, — the Director of the Research center «the middle East-the Caucasus» of the International Institute of the newest States Stanislav Tarasov. — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently made a number of positive gestures towards Russia. In particular, publicly stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin is his closest friend, with whom he shares views on the most sensitive political issues, and that Ankara and Moscow coordinate their actions in the Syrian and Iraqi fronts.
It is no coincidence that in the media there were messages that Russia and Turkey have shared intelligence on the situation in Syria and possibly Iraq. The Turkish special services, recall, have in Iraq is a very strong agent network. The exchange of intelligence suggests that the cooperation between Ankara and Moscow is developing successfully.
This is even more important now between the US and Russia is a duel format «Mosul-Aleppo». Initially, before the tragedy with the Russian su-24M, Turkey acted as the chief member of the Syrian settlement. Then she was thrown out of this process, and Washington used this factor to conduct bilateral negotiations with Moscow on the Syrian settlement. Moreover, in the format of a closed, secretive deal.
But now the dialogue on Syria again became multilateral. The proof is the negotiations of the International support group of Syria, which was attended by Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry, special envoy of the UN Secretary General on Syria Staffan de Mistura, as well as the foreign Ministers of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq.
Moreover, Turkish media openly write: Ankara is resigned to the fact that Aleppo will be taken, and will remain under the control of Damascus. This, incidentally, involves the participation of Assad in the political dialogue.
«SP»: — Why is Ankara the conflict in Iraq?
— The presence of Russia is very formalized. Here, basically, operates the Washington, in Alliance with Baghdad, and the Iraqis against the participation of the Turks in the capture of Mosul. Moreover, we note that the Syrian and Iraqi areas of Americans no longer rely on Turkey.
This circumstance is forcing Ankara to seek support in Moscow, and with Moscow coordinate their actions. Moreover, the impression that already on many issues at a tactical level, the interests of Russia and Turkey begin to comply.
This tactical Russian-Turkish Alliance is objectively anti-American. Hence the provocative reports against Turkey, which broadcasts The Washington Post.
«SP»: — Why seek US?
— Today Americans switched his attention to Mosul. Syria, according to US, important from the point of view of geopolitics, but still Iraq is more important. Since we are talking about energoobespechivayuschih country with rich reserves of hydrocarbons.
To take Mosul is not so simple. Before the Iraqi war in this city lived more than a million people, but now the number of residents exceeds 600 thousand. Plus, in Mosul concentrated 2-3 thousand fighters, which will have knock during heavy street fighting.
Meanwhile, Americans without the participation of Turkey to perform more or less serious operation in the region. You can, of course, to connect to storm Mosul Saudi Arabia or Qatar. But, from the point of view of the Americans, a not very favorable perspective.
So the US is trying to drive a wedge in Russian-Turkish relations, and again to put the Turkey in a subordinate position. The United States is all the more necessary that they gained an ally in the face of Iran, although I was counting on it.
— Turkey may accept the delivery of heavy weapons to the opposition in Syria as Ankara is in the region of your game, — said the Deputy Director of the Tauride information-analytical center of RISS Sergey Ermakov. — The United States, due to the presence of a significant expeditionary forces, for control of the region enough to have free access to it. That is why Washington is not satisfied with the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Americans need that the Syrian government provided the United States, including American military power, unhindered access to the territory of Syria. But Assad that prevents.
But the Turks for control of the common access region. They need of traditional control, which should gain a foothold on the ground, and to solve the Kurdish question. In this direction their interests with the United States diverge significantly.
Now the US wants to concentrate on the fight against ISIS American. It means Washington needs to show his superiority in this fight. The main attack of the chosen — Mosul. Quarrel with Russia in this situation, the Americans do not with his hands. There are other players who are interested. It is to them, in my opinion, is Turkey.
«SP»: — But Turkey strongly makes it clear that moving closer to Russia. Why Turks to fight us?
— Friendship is friendship, but Turkey is absolutely not on hand the growth of Russian influence in the region. And delivery of heavy weapons to the Syrian opposition, this growth is just undermined. Moreover, it is necessary to understand: Ankara previously supplied the «moderate opposition» weapons, but did so behind the scenes, on a small scale.
Clearly, a decision to supply will personally make erdoğan, who swore friendship with Putin. But the game risky games is an integral part of the policy of the Turkish leader. From her Turkish President hardly will refuse.
In addition, we should not exaggerate the rapprochement between Ankara and Moscow. Turkey — under certain circumstances — can be our partner. But she always, under all circumstances, will remain a geopolitical rival. In the region of the greater Middle East, which includes the black sea region, the interests of Moscow and Ankara have greatly face. That is why bilateral cooperation with the Turks is limited.
In my opinion, Erdogan now may decide on supplying arms to the opposition. Ahead of the winter — a dead season from the point of view of tourism. Hence, the new damage from the Russian sanctions, if they follow, in the short term will be for the Turkish economy is minimal.
Not ruled out another option: Erdogan behind the scenes to blackmail Moscow by extension arms supplies to the opposition in Syria, and to demand a greater share in the Russian-Turkish economic projects.
* «Islamic state» (LIH) the Supreme court of the Russian Federation from December 29, 2014 it was recognized as a terrorist organization, its activities on the territory of Russia is prohibited.