The Idlib crisis continues
The Presidents of Turkey and the US – Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Donald Trump – discussed the problems of Libya and Syria during a telephone conversation this week. In the course of the conversation, they noted the need for stability in Libya and an end to escalation in Idlib. In addition, the leaders agreed to resume talks on expanding economic relations and achieving the $100 billion target.
However, as we wrote earlier, the US sees the tension between Turkey and Russia in Syria as an opportunity to bring Ankara back into its orbit of influence. The selectivity of Washington`s policy is evidenced by the fact that they had previously refused to help Turkey in the fight against Kurdish PKK terrorists, and now are now ready to provide support through NATO.
The Idlib crisis itself is a challenge that creates fertile ground for Kurdish separatists and other anti-Turkish forces. Moreover, against the backdrop of the confrontation between Russia and Turkey, they (often led by the US) are taking advantage of the situation for their own interests.
In addition, as noted by portal UWI, the United States sees Idlib as an Achilles’ heel for Turkish-Russian relations, vulnerable to chaos and destabilization. Idlib is a testing ground where it is easy to bring local conflict to quarrel between different groups of Muslims. The coronavirus in China has allowed Washington to pay more attention to the Middle East, which they had begun to lose. Trump’s actions show that Washington is making an active attempt to lure Turkey back into its axis.
Turkey’s interests should have priority over strategic geopolitical interests in Syria. As part of this strategy, Turkey should not repeat the mistake of seeking rapprochement with the US and strengthen its axis with Tehran and Moscow instead, avoiding provocations in Idlib.
Trump and Iran
The Senate backed a resolution to limit Trump’s use of military force against Iran. According to the document, the use of military force against Iran is possible only after approval of this step by Congress (except for the cases when it refers to preventing an immediate threat to the country).
In a vote on Thursday, 55 of 100 senators, including eight Republicans, supported the resolution. Trump himself had previously stated that he considered such restrictions dangerous:
It is very important for our Country’s SECURITY that the United States Senate not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution. We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness. Americans overwhelmingly support our attack on terrorist Soleimani….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020
Following the assassination of IRGC General Kassem Soleimani, fears of Trump making another wild and aggressive decision remain. Of course, the Senate and Congress are trying to limit Trump. For Iran, this decision might at least partially save the region from the US taking further violent actions.
Pro-Israeli delegation in Saudi Arabia
According to Kan, a delegation of US Jewish leaders visited Saudi Arabia this week.
55 senior community members, including members of the Presidents Conference of American Jewish Organizations, met secretly with senior members of Riyadh. This is the first time in four decades that a Jewish organization paid a visit to Saudi Arabia.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) February 13, 2020
If confirmed, this would be a clear indication of the connection between the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel as Atlantic allies opposed to a multipolar world, including the Iranian and Turkish front, favoring destabilization of the Middle East.
China: coronavirus and sinophobia
On Saturday US Defense Secretary Mark Esper claimed that China was becoming a growing threat to the world order.
At the Munich Security Conference he tried to persuade the country’s allies to see Beijing as a strategic threat.
“Under President Xi’s rule, the Chinese Communist Party is heading even faster and further in the wrong direction,” he claimed.
The US has consistently tried to destabilize China and failed. The government has tried to organize a “color revolution” but the cohesive nature of the Chinese state has made it difficult. The West has tried to exploit the situation in Hong Kong and are now taking advantage of the coronovirus crisis. While China tries to fight the epidemic, the West is trying to present China as an evil authoritarian force.