Russia and Turkey have been going at each other and it seems both countries are extending the fight in Syria. According to recent reports, Russia continues to bomb the region in spite of the supposed peace talks. It consequently condemned Turkey of its recent shelling of the Syrian town of Azaz.
It appears the opposite is happening following the Syrian peace talks. According to Reuters, Russia’s air strikes even allowed U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters to advance rapidly in northern Syria. This has angered Turkey and also threatened relations between allies of NATO. The West has always considered both the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its YPG military wing as their best bet in their fight against the Islamic State. However, Turkey considers the group as terrorists and possible threat in creating more unrest throughout the Kurdish community.
“Now this is the YPG’s dilemma: Will it continue with America or Russia? The consequences of this strategic choice will influence Syria’s future, as well as the ongoing clashes in Turkey,” Reuters quoted Metin Gurcan, an independent security analyst and retired Turkish military officer.
Russia, on other hand, is also condemning Turkey’s campaign in Syria saying that the move undermined the consolidated effort to stop hostilities in the region for the sake of humanitarian aid. “I think that if Turkey continues their shelling, then we will have to once again address this issue…If these actions continue we most likely will need to talk about drafting a Security Council document, that will outline the [UNSC] position, warning Turkey that such actions are unacceptable,” RT quoted Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin.
Countries like the US, Russia and other European nations met in Munich in the previous week to discuss “cessation of hostilities” in Syria. Nonetheless, this does not apply to campaigns against the Islamic State.
“But this will be a very difficult path, because different players have different views on how to move forward. Not everybody wants a swift political settlement. But it is important that we have achieved this pace, that Russia is working together with the US in trying to resolve the crisis,” added Churkin. “I hope this unique chance will not be wasted,” he hoped.