Predictably, the Kremlin is starting to get nervous about Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s cross-border incursion in northeastern Syria, where the Turkish army has “neutralized” hundreds of “terrorists” (read: people) and displaced tens of thousands of civilians.
The invasion (and Erdogan has made various threats against state actors who use the word “invasion” to describe the long-threatened operation) is likely to lead to rolling jailbreaks in the area, where scores of ISIS fighters are held by Kurdish forces.
That – along with the violation of Syria’s territorial integrity – has Vladimir Putin “concerned”.
Read more: Trump Faces Full-Blown Crisis In Syria, As Turkish Invasion Kills Hundreds, Displaces 64,000 In 48 Hours
Specifically, Putin is worried that ISIS prisoners captured by the US-allied YPG might escape amid the melee and run off into the countryside on their way to God (Allah) only knows where. Putin made the remarks while speaking in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on Friday.
“[I’m] not sure whether the [Turkish] military will be able to quickly take this situation under control”, he remarked, adding that Russia and other leaders should be aware of the threat that militants will escape from Syria.
The Turkish lira slid on the comments, bucking the global risk-on trade.
The lira is down some 3% for the week as markets fret about the prospect of US sanctions.
Republican lawmakers are furious at the White House over Trump’s decision to effectively green-light the massacre of Syrian Kurds who have fought alongside US troops for years.
Russia has indicated this week that it will try to broker a dialogue between the Kurds and the Assad regime, but this is something of a tightrope walk for Moscow. Putin needs Erdogan to help forge what amounts to a tri-party agreement between Russia, Turkey and Iran to stabilize Syria for good and restore Assad in earnest.
Given that, just about the last thing Russia needs is for Turkish troops to accidentally come into open conflict with Assad’s forces, Hezbollah or, worse, Russian special operators. In November 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the border, causing an acute diplomatic crisis and setting in motion a truly absurd series of rolling allegations that included the Russians detailing Erdogan’s ties to ISIS oil smugglers in a belabored Powerpoint presentation.
“The sooner this conflict situation is over, the better for everyone”, one Russian lawmaker said Thursday. “I really hope our Turkish partners do everything to avoid even a chance conflict on the ground with Syrian government forces and even more so with Russian soldiers”.
One thought on “Putin Not Convinced Erdogan Can Commit Genocide Without Accidentally Jailbreaking Insane Militants”
Trump said “Maybe the Kurds will do a job. Maybe the Turks will do a job.” Understanding that trying to translate Trump to English is the path to madness, but I understand that to mean that if Europe doesn’t want I.S.I.S. prisoners and Syria, Turkey, and the United States don’t want them, maybe someone there could execute them all.