What is happening in the Middle East: “Turkish gambit” or “Russian blitz”?


The meeting of the Presidents of Russia and Turkey on January 8 was a huge disappointment for all the haters of our country, both in the near and far abroad. Not only did Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan in a solemn ceremony start the work of the new Turkish Stream gas pipeline, they also made a joint statement at the end of the summit on the situation in Libya, which became for many vindictors a real bucket of ice water poured on the head. But what hopes were assigned by certain forces to the sultry sands of this country, where Moscow and Ankara would certainly, in their opinion, “collide”! But what is there - “grabbing one another's throats”, getting together in a bloody battle and forever burying the so furious, primarily overseas “hegemons”, Russian-Turkish alliance. It didn’t work out ... Why did this happen and what could be the further development of the situation?


Before we begin a detailed analysis of the sophisticated geopolitical “party” that Moscow and Ankara are conducting today in the Middle East, we need to mention the following: the global “redistribution” of spheres of influence in this region is now possible after a series of serious foreign policy and military strategic miscalculations approved there by the United States. It was they who led to a whole chain of more or less obvious defeats of Washington in the same Syria or Iraq and their loss of influence even on those Middle Eastern states, which until recently were not allies, but a real "patrimony" of the Americans in which they could dispose literally at home.

In filling the emerging “vacuum”, which in this explosive region is always fraught with chaos and upheaval, Russia and Turkey have achieved the greatest success. China, which has been quite successful lately economic expansion into the Middle East, either did not take into account one of its most important realities - the inability to control anything there without ensuring a real military presence in the region, or did not consider it necessary to take such a path. Well - with the "players" and the "board" decided, now let's talk about the moves ...

How to quarrel them ?!


According to the plan of the overseas “players”, imagining themselves grandmasters, Syria was to become the scene of a bloody clash between Russians and Turks. I will not delve into the dramatic and even tragic details of those distant days. We all remember them perfectly. After November 24, 2015, our countries were indeed on the verge of a military confrontation. However, there was enough wisdom on both sides to ensure that the confrontation did not turn into an armed conflict. Now you can blame Putin for “costing tomatoes” (forgetting about the president’s command to destroy the hell “any threats to the Russians in Syria,” regardless of their nationality), but further events have shown that the right the critical moment was precisely the line chosen by the leadership of our country. Tough enough, but leaving the parties an opportunity for political “maneuver” and reconciliation. The best proof of this can be considered at least the fact that the attempted military coup in Turkey, undertaken with the filing of the United States, occurred just a month after Recep Erdogan, reconciling his immense pride, went to reconciliation with Moscow. They decided to remove as if they couldn’t do it, but they didn’t attack ... And now the Russian air forces destroy the terrorists together with the Turkish air force, and Syria, instead of the arena of confrontation between the two countries, becomes the first springboard for their military cooperation. The operation "Olive Branch", launched by Ankara last year, does not live up to Washington’s hopes, deliberately exposing the Americans for a long time to consider the Americans as Kurds’s allies. Collision does not occur again ...

As a “separate line" in this whole situation, it is certainly worth mentioning Turkey’s purchase of Russian Triumph S-400 air defense systems. Again, I will not list for the thousandth time all the vicissitudes that accompanied this weapon of the "contract of the century" and accompany it to this day. I will confine myself to stating the main thing: the efforts spent by the United States to disrupt the deal would probably be enough to organize an expedition not only to Mars, but to a neighboring galaxy. And all to no avail. A terrible blow to self-esteem ... And how much damage this Ankara’s unprecedented “trick” caused to the “indestructible unity” of the North Atlantic Alliance, for which it has always been “hope and support” in the Middle East region, is out of the question. In fact, Turkish “self-will” was one of the first signs that NATO, as they say, is bursting at all seams. Interestingly, not so long ago, a number of publications with a rather dubious reputation and very clearly tracked “roots” made an enchanting informational “stuffing”: it turns out, Turkey has long ago “created a research group to study the S-400 together with the Pentagon.” Its experts literally “take apart” our air defense systems and are about to “crack their secret codes” (by golly, that’s exactly what it says!). After that, the Americans can easily “intervene in the operation of the Russian air defense systems” when and as they wish! A good attempt, yes ... True, in order to achieve at least minimal credibility, it was not worthwhile, referring to some unnamed "American media", to try to claim that this same "joint group continues the S-400 research" for the past year. In time does not converge! Deliveries of the first components of the SAM system began less than six months ago. However, such attempts here indicate an extremely great desire to drive a wedge between Moscow and Ankara in this matter at virtually any cost.

Libya as a last chance


Great expectations for those who want to destroy the Russian-Turkish alliance lay on the civil conflict that erupted with renewed vigor in Libya. And the grounds for such hopes were, and quite weighty. Moscow and Ankara initially supported in it two opposing sides. “Our man” is considered the commander of the Libyan National Army, Marshal Khalifa Haftar, whose forces today already control about 80% of the country's territory. Turkey, on the other hand, not only supports the Government of National Accord, which is heading in Tripoli, led by Faiz Saraj, but also at the end of last year concluded an agreement with him on military assistance, according to which the transfer of Turkish troops has already begun to Libya. Why did Erdogan, who initiated this risky demarche, need this? Most likely, the extremely ambitious leader not only aimed at quite considerable reserves of Libyan oil, which, by the way, at the moment is mainly controlled by Haftar forces, how much he decided to use the conflict in this country in order to try to seize the strategic initiative from Russia to build military-political influence in the region. Hence the passionate talk about the allegedly “thousands of Russian PMC fighters” there and all the similar attacks on our country. Well, here, it would seem, a collision is absolutely inevitable! Russians and Turks can’t disperse in any way. Many Western media, reveling in anticipation, have already begun to write about the upcoming "Libyan trap for Putin." There it was ...

In a joint statement made on January 8, the two presidents not only announced a complete ceasefire in Libya starting January 12, but also stressed that they had reached "full understanding" on the agenda there. The most important details indicated at the same time irrefutably testify - the parties agreed on the terms of Russia! The most important, as usual, is in the details. In this case, in the words of the leaders that the settlement in the country will be based on the Libyan political agreement concluded in 2016, also called Shiratsky. So - according to the letter of this agreement, the PNS Faiz Shiraj cannot be considered legitimate at all! The shirati agreement clearly defines his term of office, which has long expired - two years. At the same time, it should be noted that the members of this "pervasive" government at the official level have already expressed support for the agreements of Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan. What else remains for them? However, all this in no way also means the automatic victory of Haftar, on whose side today stands the only more or less legitimate authority of Libya, the parliament there. Surely ahead is a long way of difficult bidding, mutual compromises and attempts by each of the parties to insist on their own. Now it’s hard to say what means were put into use by Vladimir Vladimirovich for such a quick and decisive conviction of not the most complaisant opponent. Well, besides the well-known personal charm. Perhaps the point here is that for Erdogan in the agreements with Shiraj, the invitation to a civil war is much more important, but the new demarcation of maritime borders, which is extremely beneficial for Ankara, giving it grounds for claims for offshore energy fields? Suppose he received guarantees that the new government, represented by Haftar (or anyone else), would confirm them, and not denounce. That would explain a lot, if not all.

There is no doubt that a number of factors contributed to the decrease in the militancy of the Turkish leader. Let's be honest - Haftar’s troops are not Kurdish rebels in any way ... Turkish troops today are already losing in Syria, but in Libya the death toll would be many times higher. It would certainly not have contributed to strengthening the image of Erdogan, which had somewhat shaken recently, recently. In addition - the prospect of quarreling with a good half of the Arab world. The same Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, the Libyan "peacekeeping" initiatives of Turkey categorically do not support. Well, and, again - a conflict with Russia. And this is after the launch of the Turkish Stream, which brings Ankara undoubted benefits not only of an economic, but also of a geopolitical nature. Apparently, our leader made it clear to Turkish that in future disputes, which will inevitably flare up in the Mediterranean in the very near future, Russia will be on his side. Why not? For our country, this has very interesting prospects. At least as a mediator between the main potential parties to the conflict - Turkey, Greece and Israel. One way or another, but on the basis of the positions voiced by the presidents, there is no doubt who left behind the victory in the blitz game played on January 8.
Used photos: http://kremlin.ru/
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  1. Alexzn Offline
    Alexzn (Alexander) 10 January 2020 09: 27
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    In general, logical conclusions. Israel after the incident with Marmara is in extremely tense relations with Turkey, but (!!!) we must pay tribute to the Turkish side - the economic block of relations is developing, despite the political confrontation. Turkey has proven to be a reliable economic partner. Therefore, in solving the problems of offshore gas production and processing, Israel faces a dilemma - a natural alliance with Egypt, Cyprus and Greece, or a partial alliance with Turkey. It is very likely that Israel will still find ways to create projects with Turkey.
    At the same time, one should not forget that the reviving Ottoman Empire is in tense relations with all its neighbors. The alliance of Russia with Turkey brings not only benefits, it does not like ALL the neighbors of Turkey, respectively, there will always be risks.
    1. isofat Offline
      isofat (Sergei) 10 January 2020 15: 32
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      Quote: AlexZN
      At the same time, one should not forget that the reviving Ottoman Empire is in tense relations with all its neighbors.

      Israel in what relations with neighbors?
    2. Pishenkov Offline
      Pishenkov (Alexey) 10 January 2020 19: 25
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      I agree that the alliance with the Russian Federation is beneficial to the Turks in all respects, but with this

      natural union with egypt

      - I agree heavily. What is the natural alliance of Israel with this Arab country? They have not a union, but a forced long-term truce, I would rather say. Israel there is already across his throat, lives only thanks to the roof in the form of the United States. And if the Israelis do not stop behaving like that, then soon they will not create any joint projects anywhere with anyone in the region, especially with the Turks ...
      1. Alexzn Offline
        Alexzn (Alexander) 10 January 2020 21: 56
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        Quote: Pyshenkov
        I agree that the alliance with the Russian Federation is beneficial to the Turks in all respects, but with this

        natural union with egypt

        - I agree heavily. What is the natural alliance of Israel with this Arab country? They have not a union, but a forced long-term truce, I would rather say. Israel there is already across his throat, lives only thanks to the roof in the form of the United States. And if the Israelis do not stop behaving like that, then soon they will not create any joint projects anywhere with anyone in the region, especially with the Turks ...

        It is exclusively about the alliance to determine the boundaries of the shelf and the exploitation of gas fields. It so happened that the definition of shelf boundaries and cooperation on the import (in the past) of gas from Egypt created a gas alliance between Egypt and Israel. After the conclusion of an agreement between Turkey and Libya on the delimitation of the shelf, Egypt and Turkey finally quarreled.
        About the behavior of Israel-did not understand. What do you draw your conclusions from. Jordan is also present in the gas alliance, which received gas from Egypt through Israel and will receive gas from Israel in the future. Exploration and exploitation of the shelf is carried out with Cyprus and Greece, which are very hoping for power support and security from Israel. I note that this is Turkey proposing a joint project, Turkey is the initiator, and not Israel.
        1. Pishenkov Offline
          Pishenkov (Alexey) 13 January 2020 17: 24
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          Well, if only

          exclusively about the alliance for determining the boundaries of the shelf and the exploitation of gas fields

          - then I agree. Only this, rather, is not an "alliance" but, again, a forced delimitation of territories. In this case, the Russian Federation with all its neighbors is also in similar "alliances" - with Norway, for example, an active member of NATO, the Russian Federation in the same "alliance" on the same shelf.
          I took the word "alliance" in its more applicable meaning in this case, and therefore did not agree.
          And then you are also interested in:

          ... with Cyprus and Greece, who are very hopeful of the support and security provided by Israel.

          And from whom, presumably, Israel can protect the Greeks and Cypriots? Well, logically, there’s no one else but Turkey ... such a strange "alliance" turns out ...
    3. boriz Offline
      boriz (boriz) 11 January 2020 16: 21
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      ... ALL Turkish neighbors do not like him ...

      This is good. As an ally, it is useful; they have no other allies. The Russian Federation has established itself in the international arena as a sane player. Therefore, Turkey has nowhere to go and it will be in our currency zone. Like Japan. They also have nowhere to go (China and both Koreas will never forget the genocide, the mass removal of girls to brothels in Japan, tests on the local population of chemical and bacteriological weapons ...). And they are also a useful ally (for a number of technologies).
      So both countries are in a situation of "and nowhere are you, my dear, not a Denissi ..." (C) (I don’t remember where)
      And the patience of the Russian Federation, in relation to them, will fully pay off.
  2. businessv Offline
    businessv (Vadim) 10 January 2020 10: 42
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    One way or another, but on the basis of the positions voiced by the presidents, there is no doubt who left behind the victory in the blitz game played on January 8.

    Thanks to Alexander for the article! Good analytics, correct presentation, thanks! Everyone won in the blitz game, including the loser Faiz Shiraj. I think that he did not want to meet with Haftar on the battlefields - the levels are very different!
  3. cmonman Offline
    cmonman (Garik Mokin) 11 January 2020 00: 06
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    ... became a huge disappointment for all the haters of our country ....

    I’m curious - but are there such (more) ones?
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