Putin, Obama, Erdogan, Kurds, Iran, Assad – Grandmaster Game in Syria

Translated by Ollie Richardson



What is happening in Syria resembles a Gordian knot with the simple exception that none of the conflicting parties are able to cut it with their own sword. This is due to the fact that the main pool of the opposition is represented by a number of great nuclear powers.
In such a situation, every serious move on the geopolitical board of Syria is of great importance for the whole world, and cannot go unnoticed.

Various predictors and prophets of our planet, not in vain, in unison testified that sooner or later Syria will fall to someone’s feet, and who will be the winner in this key region at that moment will shape the future world order of the earth.

The latest event of the Syrian grandmaster game became the introduction of Turkish troops on the Syrian border territory. We will consider what happened at different levels of understanding, and find out what are the real causes and consequences of the incident.


At 5:45 am on 24th August, Ankara, with the support of the US Air Force, started a military ground operation “to liberate” the border town of Jarablus in the province of Aleppo. The framework of the operation “Euphrates Shield” dealt 224 tank and artillery shots on 63 targets in the North of Syria. The operation involved tanks and special forces troops and fighters of groups of “moderate” Syrian opposition such as “Faylaq al-Sham”, “al-Sultan Murad brigades, “Ahrar al-Sham”, “al-Mutasim brigades” and “Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki”.

As of now, the terrorists left Jarablus, which was under their control for a total of more than two years. At the same time at least nine Turkish tanks entered, increasing the total number of armored vehicles to up to twenty units.

Formally, the event is not a traditional ground-based operation. The purpose of the actions of the Turkish and coalition forces is to pave a corridor for the “moderate” Syrian opposition, which in turn will clean out Jarablus from terrorists, as well as project the influence of Ankara in the border areas of Syria.



1. Clean Jarablus from the terrorist group “Islamic State*”.


1. At any cost to prevent the creation of independent Kurdish state in Syria.

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2. To carry out an operation to oust the fighters of the Kurdish YPG, (which Ankara considers to be an ally of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party) from the border areas with Turkey. In particular the localities of Jarablus and Manbij. To prevent the Syrian Kurds from uniting the two into one state held in their district, under the name of Rojava.
3. To save face after the categorical position that Assad must go, against the backdrop of recent visits of high-ranking representatives of the Turkish intelligence of Damascus, and Erdogan’s statement that the Syrian leader should stay at least for a transitional period.


Initially, the Americans wanted to “get rid” of Assad using the hands of the opposition. However, after the beginning of the Russian campaign, it became obvious that, with Russian support, Assad will remain in power. Due to circumstances, the US decided to play another card.

Forty million Kurds, divided people, using Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey as an area of residence was clearly the best exit out of the situation. However, the payment for their services would be the establishment in Syria of a Kurdish State – Kurdistan. Which, naturally, does not suit either Ankara or the Syrian government, and ultimately led to the current situation.

Having taking advantage of the deterioration in US-Turkish relations, Erdogan announced as a consequence of stabilization the holding in Syria of Operation “Euphrates Shield”. Under the deal, the American side influenced the Kurds, forcing them to withdraw behind the Euphrates, and the border areas of Syria, which were controlled by the “Islamic State”, are not passed to pro-American Kurdish but Pro-Turkish militants. This at this moment has happened.


Kurdish forces consist of over 75 different tribes, each with largely different objectives. Nevertheless, they have become hostage to international agreements. This question involves understanding the Russians, Americans, Turks, and Iranians. And although the Kurdish Armed Forces are a serious force in the fight against terrorism, they are not able to oppose the policy of the major powers.

Earlier, during his visit to Ankara, US Vice President Joseph Biden said that the United States would deprive the Kurds of support if they did not obey the request of the Turkish authorities, and today, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told the Turkish Foreign Minister about the retreat of the self-defense forces of Syrian Kurds East of the Euphrates river.

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Thus, it is important to understand that the retreat of the Kurds over the Euphrates, means not only the surrender of Jarablus, but also the delivery of Manbij, captured by the Kurds from Islamic State” with US support on 12th of August. The first and the second area being occupied by the Kurds could help them to create a United Kurdish country.

Currently, the attitude to the Kurds as a whole is also changing, as the fighters of People’s Protection Units now captured not only the territory where most Kurds live, but also areas with a predominantly Arab population. Such rashness on the part of the leaders of the Kurdish tribes led to the fact that the Syrian army, which treated the Kurds as a neutral power and in a sense as allies, recently bombed their positions. The fire was caused by an attempt of self-defense forces of Kurdistan to grab one of the Syrian cities.


Currently, Turkey has learned that there are much more serious challenges than the removal of Assad from power, especially as more opposition to such a policy on the part of Russia overrides any possible benefits, if not more. This awareness has allowed Ankara to improve relations with our country. This also means that Turkey would not launch the Operation “Euphrates Shield” without a green light from Russia, as it was clear that no military aircraft of Turkey would not have left the airfield without being supported by the Russian defense.

Turkey has for many years called for the establishment of a buffer zone along its border with Syria to prevent the Syrian Kurds from uniting two of their retained areas. But Erdogan failed to convince Washington of the need to help them with the creation of this zone. He also could not act alone, because in this case, he would have faced resistance from Russia and Iran. Now, however, on the background of the unfriendly actions of the Syrian Kurds against Assad’s army, and in exchange for the acquiescence of Ankara on the issue of political agreement with Assad, Russia agreed not to interfere in limited Turkish military operations on Syrian territory.

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Daesh positions in Northern Syria, who previously acted for Turkey as a buffer between Kurds on its territory and the Syrian Kurds, are seriously weakened. The meaning of their support for Erdogan has become significantly weaker. And the terrible nightmare when the Kurds will control the entire Turkish-Syrian border, on the contrary, began to come to life.

This, as well as the establishment of Russian-Turkish relations and the deterioration of Turkish-American has led Erdogan to stop supporting Daesh and the decision to rely on the Free Syrian Army, or simply put, Pro-Turkish militants.

Objectively, the “Islamic State” is a weakening player, and they have nothing to respond to Turkey’s refusal to support them – only attacks on its territory. What we have seen in recent years is quite regular, but it is futile.

It is these circumstances that guided Erdogan, against the background of an apology for the downed Russian plane, to declare readiness to create a coalition to fight ISIS along with Iran and Russia. ISIS for Turkey is no longer needed.

As a result, putting an end to the ability of Daesh in order to keep a buffer on the border with Turkey from Kurdish attacks, Erdogan, having obtained the support of Russia and bargained for assistance from the United States, was able to deal a blow to Jarablus – the purpose of which was to prevent Kurdish self-defence forces striking the terrorists first, and occupy the border area.

The East is not Russia. And to evaluate the events occurring as a result of our actions would be a mistake. In particular, despite the fact that officially, most countries in the Middle East do not support Turkey’s operation, and condemns and criticizes it, in fact, none of them, nor Iran, nor Iraq, nor Turkey nor Syria are not interested in the creation of a Kurdish State, and with ill-concealed approval look at what is happening.

Thus, the Turkish incident will have no impact on relations with Russia.

The geopolitical game continues…


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