Russia is once again accusing Turkey of mobilizing in Syria as new evidence of Turkish troops in the region surfaced. Amidst the war of words, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also warned that it will bring terror on those responsible for the recent blast in the country. Will things escalate further?
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed during a broadcast last Sunday that Turkey has been silently expanding its forces in Syria. The minister said that Turkey is “creeping expansion” along the border. The comments from the official are part of another round of war of words between the two countries following the falling out of political relations.
“Turkey has started to declare it has a sovereign right to create some safety zones on Syrian territory,” Reuters quoted Lavrov during a telecast by Russian channel Ren-TV.
“According to our data, they have already ‘dug themselves in’ several hundred meters from the border in Syria. … It’s a sort of creeping expansion,” added the official.
The minister also added that Russia will be asking the United Nations to initiate peace talks with the Kurds even with Turkey’s opposition. Both countries have been at each other’s throats following the downing or Russia’s plane in the previous year. Turkey has not issued an apology over the matter while Russia vowed revenge. Lavrov said that Russia will be cooperating efforts with the United States to reclaim territories in Syria.
“At some stage the Americans suggested carrying out a ‘division of labor’: Russia’s air force should concentrate on freeing Palmyra and the U.S. coalition with Russian support should concentrate on freeing Raqqa.” The minister added.
According to CNBC, there is big risk for the top-down structure of power for both nations as tensions continue to rise. Russia and Turkey almost similarly link conciliation to political failure and weakness.
“The fiercely nationalistic, unbending and forceful leadership of Russia and Turkey makes compromise incredibly difficult. Neither President Erdogan nor President Putin forgive or forget,” Anthony Skinner wrote. Should Russia provoke Turkey to war, it can either be detrimental or beneficial should the initial falling out be unproven or victorious.