WASHINGTON – President Trump has long sought to avoid facing the leaders of Turkey and Russia – two foreign strongmen facing civil war in Syria and Libya. However, after the airstrike on Thursday Dozens of Turkish soldiers killed In northwestern Syria, Mr Trump may be forced to choose either side.
The so-called allies, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have each confronted two bloody conflicts with military and other support, which have waged widespread humanitarian crises, threatened to maintain a fragile stability in the Middle East and could send thousands to Europe. Flowing
Despite calls for more American involvement internationally, Mr Trump has avoided significant interference in both conflicts – a decision consistent with his promise to prevent “endless war” over the past two decades.
However, officials at the Foreign Office have made it clear that they are looking at Russia as a source of trouble for Syria, especially Syria. Turkey’s leaders, well aware that their country has been viewed with disbelief by many in the Congress and the NATO alliance, are seeking to use both conflicts to show the United States that they should hold one year a year. Suppressed diplomacy And against a common adversary itite: Moscow.
Details of Thursday’s attack remain speculative, and it is unclear whether Russia or its allies in the Syrian Air Force carried out the strike, which has now killed at least five Turkish troops in Idlib, the epicenter of the Syrian crisis. Either way, American and Turkish officials maintain that Russia is integral to virtually every part of the Syrian government’s military.
Also on Tuesday is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Blames Russia for blocking humanitarian aid Told Idlib and that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had “ruthlessly initiated new aggression, dramatically backed by Moscow and Tehran.”
Senator Lindsay Graham, a South Carolina Republican and close Trump aide, on Thursday called for the establishment of a flying zone over Idlib “to save thousands of innocent men, women and children from a horrific death.”
However, experts noted that there may be a split feeling among Mr Trump. Jeffrey Edmonds, who handled Russia’s issues under the National Security Council and the Obama administration under Mr Trump, said there was “definitely a tension” because Trump was attracted to both presidents. Mr Edmunds said, “He was in favor of Russia most of the time that Putin put him in an awkward position instead of Turkey.”
Last week, Mr. Trump again presented evidence that Moscow “tried to influence the 2016 presidential election” in favor of Russia, Russia, Russia as “bad.” “A few minutes later, he also discussed a recent phone call with Mr Erdogan about” Idlib “and added that” we are working together to see what can be done. “
Diplomats were waiting to see if Mr Erdogan would contact NATO after attacking for support under the coalition’s defense line. The Turkish leader has frustrated NATO members, perhaps the most Washington, in a unilateral move that includes the purchase of Russian air defense systems, threatening to ban the American.
Nato-American Ambassador Ken Bailey Hutchison said Thursday that the coalition’s policy-based approach to the alliance – an attack on all member states – could not be applied for Turkey.
Nevertheless, Mr. Trump has rarely used the military in his military to influence events in Syria or Libya.
This month, the foreign affairs committee chairman of the Turkish parliament, Volkan Bozkir, said that his country recognized that it was facing “an important moment in our relationship with the United States.” He identified the disputes in Turkey and the United States as “needing each other”, especially in Libya and Syria.
“The United States must be strong and Turkey must be strong to overcome all these events,” Mr. Bozakir told reporters in Washington on February 12.
Russia, which he described as a military operation against al-Assad’s terrorists, protested and claimed that the Syrian president could not be persuaded to protect civilians caught in the crossfire.
“In reality in Syria, all military systems are produced by Russia,” said Mr Boskir. “They produce everything. It is clear that the use of an aircraft, or the use of a missile, or bombing, cannot be done by the Russians unknowingly. “
American diplomats have urged Turkey, Russia and other foreign forces to prevent further escalation of war in both Libya and Syria, and instead call for a ceasefire agreement and the implementation of ceasefire agreements.
Robert C. O’Brien, White House national security adviser, “I don’t think anyone in this country is ready to send the 2nd Airbnb to that chaotic environment to solve another problem that we are not ready for in Syria,” this month at the Atlantic Council.
Over the past few months, and in the confrontation of refugees on its borders, Turkey has set up observation posts in Idlib, pushing thousands of troops as part of a deal with Russia and Iran to reduce violence in Syria. One A senior official in the Trump administration Probably the only force that could persuade Mr al-Assad to withdraw another strategic reward for the Syrian war in Idlib and the northwestern city of Aleppo.
That has not happened yet, and James F. Jeffrey, Special Envoy to the State Department for Syria and the Islamic State, said it was unclear whether Russia was powerless to suppress Mr Al-Assad or simply choose not to.
Regardless, Mr. Jeffrey He told reporters on February 7, “Russia is not helpful.”
Turkey and Russia have taken sides in Libya, where a former Libyan army general, Caliph Heifter, And challenged a UN-backed government to control its forces.
Russia was a dual Libyan American and former CIAIA on behalf of Mr Heifter. Wealth Who has been accused of torture. Mr. Hifter also has support from allies in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. UAE Mr. Heifter is the leading supplier of weapons and warships.
Moscow, however, The Middle East and Africa are trying to expand its influence, With the Russian private security firm Wagner Group to assist Mr Hifter, has also and has issued arms and about 1,400 mercenary rents. His Libyan Nation Army helped Create a rival government with currency printing.
During the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing this month, a veteran American diplomat mentioned Libya and Syria in the same war and blamed foreign military operations for escalating both Russian wars.
Christopher Robinson, Russia’s military and political support for Mr al-Assad “has sparked a conflict that has cost millions of innocent civilians lives and forced millions to flee,” a deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs told the President.
“Libya is now at risk of becoming the next destination for Russia’s own narrow political and economic gains, exploiting the international turmoil,” Mr Robinson said.