Intertwining interests complicate Syrian crisis

Intertwining interests complicate Syrian crisis

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 1

By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

Russian air forces have been for the second day bombing the positions of the terrorist organization "Islamic State" (IS) in Syria.

A number of countries have already expressed discontent over this. For example, Saudi Arabia has demanded that Russia stop its military action in Syria.

Today, a source in the administration of the Turkish president told Trend that Ankara is concerned over Russia's decision to use its armed forces abroad.

"Russia's decision could lead to an aggravation of the situation in Syria," the source said, noting that Turkey is closely following the developments in Syria.

The reason for such a concern is that Russia is bombing the positions of the Syrian armed opposition, instead of hitting the militants.

While Turkey and Saudi Arabia see the difference among militants, the IS and the armed opposition, which also includes Jabhat al-Nusra, Moscow officially isn't differentiating between the IS and the armed opposition.

The situation is not so simple in Syria, where the interests of almost all of super powers have collided.

The country "has" a regular army, the Lebanese Hezbollah, and the Iranian generals who strongly support Syrian President Bashar Assad in the fight against the opposition.

At the same time, there are the Syrian wing of the PKK, the armed opposition which has close ties with Turkey, and of course the IS that hasn't been yet "active" against Syria's regular army.

The complexity of the situation in Syria can be explained in that the countries, interested in the region, instead of helping one particular force, provide support to several parties at a time, even the ones that are feuding among themselves.

The US has always made a statement that President Assad must leave office. However, US Secretary of State Kerry said September 30 that Assad's leaving the office is not a priority now.

On the one hand, the US supports the moderate opposition. It has an agreement with Turkey to train the opposition. On the other hand, it does not recognize the Syrian wing of the PKK as a terrorist organization. The Syrian wing of the PKK is fighting against the armed opposition as part of an agreement with Assad's government.

Moreover, Ankara has officially declared repeatedly that the IS militants have US weapons.

Turkey supports the armed and moderate opposition and recognizes the IS and the Syrian wing of the PKK as the terrorist organizations. At the same time, it allows Iraqi "Peshmerga" (Kurdish militias) to infiltrate into Syria to support the Kurds in the fight against the IS.

Ankara officially says that there is no difference for Turkey between the Syrian wing of the PKK and IS militants.

The so-called "caliphate" (IS) is fighting with all except the governmental troops and Hezbollah. This gives a reason to think that the IS and Assad's government have close ties.

The Islamic Republic of Iran supports Assad's government. At the same time, it denounces Turkey's position towards the Syrian wing of the PKK that supports communist ideas.

Of course, all this greatly exacerbates the Syrian crisis settlement.

Edited by CN


Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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