In order to create a “safe zone” between Turkey and Northern Syria, Russia’s President Vladmiir Putin met with Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan and agreed to help Turkey push Kurdish fighters in Northern Syria away from Turkey’s southern border.
Russia’s involvement, emboldened by US leaving Syria and its Kurdish allies there, will center on ensuring the autonomy of their Syrian ally, President Bashar al-Assad, and to check the ambitions of Turkey.
Many see these events as a victory for Russia and loss for the US, considering Syria, a benefactor of Russian military, does not have to deal with a US presence. Not to mention, Putin is provided with an opportunity to establish closer ties with Turkey.
Very soon after the US exit from Syria, Turkey initiated a military advance into Syria, forcing the Kurds to withdraw 20 miles from the border. This land, 75 miles long and 20 miles deep, will be controlled by Turkey, but negotiations with Russia mean Turkey cannot a control a wider territory than that. It also has to allow Syria’s forces under al-Assad to return to the border.
Regarding Turkey, Rep. Rep. Steny Hoyer tweeted, “As a result of POTUSs reckless decision to withdraw from Syria & abandon our allies, Russia has solidified its hold over that country. POTUS has handed control to Putin on a silver platter & rewarded Turkey for its assault on our allies. How shameful.”
Sen. Rand Paul tweeted, “We are at a place where our strategic objectives have been confused. We are no longer aligning our ends, ways, and means to reach a desired end state. If we are completely honest, we dont really have an achievable end state.”