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Showing posts with label Turkey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Turkey. Show all posts

[Video] Zakharova holds weekly briefing in St. Petersburg

Spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova conducts her weekly press briefing on current foreign affairs in St. Petersburg.


Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IirmmFx0tZ8

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Israel Unlikely to Fly Freely Over Syria After Il-20 Incident - Ex-Official

ST.PETERSBURG (Sputnik) - Israel is unlikely to freely use Syrian airspace in the wake of the crash of a Russian Il-20 military aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, Yakov Kedmi, a former high-ranking Israeli intelligence official, told Sputnik.

"There was an agreement between Israel and Russia that the actions of Israel in Syria's airspace would not endanger lives of Russian troops. Israel breached this commitment… What happens next will depend on the position of Israel. Most likely, Israel will no longer be able to enjoy the same freedom in the sky of Syria as it did before the incident," Kedmi said.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) earlier in the day that Israel would share all information on the incident with Moscow. The IDF expressed regret over the deaths of the Russian troops and put the blame on Damascus and Tehran.

"Israel's attack in itself, regardless of the consequences, was an irresponsible step, because there is not a single facility on the territory of Syria that might have been used by Iran and whose destruction would have justified an attack on it, which could endanger the Russian troops," Kedmi said.

READ MORE: Turkey Could Deploy Additional Troops to Idlib Under Deal With Russia — Ankara

According to the IDF, the Israeli jets were targeting a facility in Syria which contained "systems to manufacture accurate and lethal weapons" that could be sent "on behalf of Iran" to Hezbollah movement in Lebanon. Israel, as well as many other states, considers the movement a terrorist organization.

Related: Will Russia-Israel ties suffer after downing of Il-20 military plane off Syrian coast?
 
 The Russian Hmeimim airbase had lost contact with the crew of the Russian Il-20 military aircraft late on Monday during the attack of four Israeli F-16 aircraft on Syrian targets in the province of Latakia. The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier on Tuesday that the Israeli military deliberately created a dangerous situation by using the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defense systems. As a result, the Il-20 jet was downed by a missile launched by Syria's S-200 air defense system.

Source: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201809181068132500-israel-syria-il-20-incident-airspace/?utm_source=https://l.facebook.com/&utm_medium=short_url&utm_content=j8DT&utm_campaign=URL_shortening

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[Video] Russia, Turkey announce deal on demilitarized zone in Syria


Russia, Turkey announce deal on demilitarized zone in Syria


Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7Vwn5ripyg
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Will Russia-Israel ties suffer after downing of Il-20 military plane off Syrian coast?

Will Russia-Israel ties suffer after downing of Il-20 military plane off Syrian coast?

Will Russia-Israel ties suffer after downing of Il-20 military plane off Syrian coast?

Moscow and Tel Aviv had long enjoyed fairly good ties despite the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, but they are now at risk as Russia blames Israel for the downing its warplane off Syrian coast and the crew's death.

Although the plane was technically shot down by a Syrian missile, Russia made it clear who it blames in the tragedy, saying that Israeli pilots used the Russian Il-20 as a cover.
 
Related: ‘You are to blame for downing of Il-20 and death of its crew,’ Russia tells Israel

The Middle East historically remained a place of bitter rivalries. Tension grew increasingly high after the Arab Spring brought more havoc to an already complex region, riddled with colliding interests and clashing ambitious of various actors, large and small. Nevertheless, Russia and Israel had always managed to keep good relations.

This year alone President Vladimir Putin met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu three times, and every time the media didn’t get much details from closed-door discussions. Through delicate behind-the-scenes diplomacy Moscow maintained a close, working relations with Israel. The fact that it’s one of US closest allies was never an issue for Moscow. Russia itself kept developing ties with Turkey and Iran, Israel’s arch-nemesis, while managing to address Israel’s concerns too.

For Russia, Israel is not only an important, geopolitical partner with alleged nuclear capabilities, situated in the heart of the world’s most turbulent region. It’s also home of about 1.3 million expats from post-Soviet countries. This large diaspora plays a significant role for Russia when it tailors its approach to Tel Aviv.

Related: The Russian-“Israeli” “Crisis”: Climb-Down In Progress?

Even the war in Syria, where Israel - in hopes of curbing Iranian influence - supported and armed controversial anti-government militants, didn’t result in a serious crisis in relations with Russia.

Over the course of the conflict, the IDF had conducted numerous airstrikes against targets in Syria and even launched missiles at Syrian jets. Each attack was strongly condemned by both Syria and Russia who had been pointing out that any military incursion into the country without the government’s and UN’s approval is illegal.

Related: https://www.rt.com/news/438686-syria-russia-s200-il20/

But the raid on Latakia and the collateral damage in a form of a downed Russian military plane can inflict grave damage on the relations between the states. Israel stands firmly against the strengthening of the Turkish or Iranian grip in the region, so its recent actions may be an attempt to remind everyone that the Syrian crisis has other stakeholders involved. Especially, since just the day before the tragic incident with the Russia plane Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyp Erdogan reached a settlement on the situation around Idlib, the last militant stronghold beyond the control of the Syrian government.

Source: https://www.rt.com/news/438704-russia-israel-conflict-plane/
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[UPDATE] Breaking News - Airstrikes On Government Facilities Reported In Latakia, Tartus, Homs Provinces. Russia Allegedly Employs Own Air Defenses

UPDATE:

Airstrikes On Government Facilities Reported In Latakia, Tartus, Homs Provinces. Russia Allegedly Employs Own Air Defenses

 

Missile attack targets several locations in Syrian coastal city of Latakia - state media

 

Missile attack targets several locations in Syrian coastal city of Latakia - state media
Syrian air defenses have engaged missiles targeting the area of Latakia, a city in the coastal province that is the home of Russia’s Khmeimim Air Base.
According to the state SANA news agency, the attack targeted the Technical Industries Agency headquarters in Latakia, owned by the Syrian military. Reports from the area refer to “powerful explosions” heard in the city.
Air defense activity was also reported in Homs and Tartous provinces, where Russia maintains a naval base.
There are no reports of casualties at this time.
Syrian media report that a “number of missiles” have been shot down. Multiple reports from the area speak of an attack by missiles launched from drones. It is unclear whether only the Syrian air defense batteries have been engaged, or if the Russian air defenses around Khmeimim are taking part as well.
Multiple local reports are accusing Israel of launching the strikes, but there has been no independent confirmation of that. Another possibility suggested by local media is that the drone attack was launched by jihadists in Idlib.
The attack comes just hours after Russia and Turkey negotiated a partial demilitarization of the Idlib province, which is the last remaining stronghold of anti-government militants, including the Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (also known as the Jabhat Al-Nusra).

Source: https://www.rt.com/news/438665-missile-attack-latakia-syria/
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Syrians go to polls in 1st local elections for 7 years of war


Syrians go to polls in 1st local elections for 7 years of war
Syrians are electing their local councils during first municipal elections since the start of the lingering seven-year war. Polls have opened on Sunday shortly after an overnight airstrike hit Damascus airport.
 
As many as 6,551 polling stations opened on Sunday morning with Syrians invited to vote for their representatives in local councils, state news agency SANA reported. It said over 40,000 candidates are contesting 18,478 seats. Polls will be closed at 7.00pm local time, and authorities have said they took all necessary precautions to keep the ballot boxes safe and secure.
 
 
Today’s local elections, the first to be held since the conflict broke out in 2011, comes amid continued violence in various parts of the war-ravaged country. On Saturday night, an airstrike – purportedly carried out by Israeli jets – hit Damascus international airport causing several explosions.

Worrying news also come from Idlib, where the Syrian army braces for its major offensive on the militants-held stronghold. Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed chlorine-filled canisters were delivered by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters to stage a false flag attack that would be used to accuse the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against its people.

Nevertheless, efforts to bring lasting peace to Syria still carry on. Recently, Russia, Turkey and Iran have called on all armed groups in Idlib and beyond to lay down arms and seek a peaceful transition in the country. Leaders of the three nations had previously met in Astana in May, where they agreed to push for negotiations between its government and opposition groups, which agree to cease hostilities.

The format brought together representatives of the Syrian government and armed opposition groups at the negotiating table – something previous efforts by the international community had failed to do.
Aside from the diplomatic efforts, Russia it actively engaged in humanitarian activities in Syria. Russian military personnel have defused thousands of explosive devices left by terrorists and brought tons of much-needed aid to Syrian provinces liberated from terrorists.

Source: https://www.rt.com/news/438560-syria-local-elections-war/
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17 Years After 911, US Backs Al Qaeda in Syria



By Finian CUNNINGHAM

17 Years After 911, US Backs Al Qaeda in Syria

The September 11 terror incidents in 2001 are said to be the biggest-ever deadly attack on US soil. Shamefully, exactly 17 years later, the US president and Pentagon military chiefs are threatening to go to war in Syria – to defend the same ilk of terrorists.

“Shamefully” is perhaps not the most fitting word here. “Consistently” would be more appropriate.

Officially, the spectacular plane-crashing mayhem 17 years ago in New York City was due to 19 Arab hijackers affiliated with the Al Qaeda terror network.

That account of the world-changing event has been hotly disputed, with many respected authors and organizations claiming that evidence shows the US intelligence agencies are implicated in an inside job. The death of some 3,000 American citizens was hence exploited as a pretext for launching a series of US overseas wars, whose hidden agenda was for promoting imperialist objectives.

In any case, the official story is that Al Qaeda operatives hijacked four airliners on the morning of September 11, 2001, and flew them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, as well as into the Pentagon building near Washington. The fourth plane crashed in a rural area in Pennsylvania, allegedly after passengers challenged
the terrorist pilots.

The Al Qaeda terror network, with its ideological links to Saudi-sponsored Wahhabism, was declared “enemy number one” by then President George W Bush, who proceeded to launch wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, supposedly to avenge the 911 atrocity perpetrated against
American civilians.

The so-called “war on terror” has since become a much-overused blank check for successive US governments and their NATO allies to launch wars anywhere in the world to “defeat terrorists”. It has been used to justify increasing Western state surveillance powers against its own citizens in the name of counter-terrorism.

To be sure, the official story on 911 and subsequent US and NATO military rampaging around the globe has been challenged by skeptics and critics.

One of the key lines of contesting the official narrative is the documented evolution of the Al Qaeda terror franchise, which grew out of US sponsorship of motley radical Islamist groups in Afghanistan during the 1980s. That covert ploy was to give then occupying Soviet troops “their Vietnam”. American and British military intelligence along with lavish Saudi funding created the Frankenstein Monster of Islamic terrorism that mutated and spread across the Middle East and beyond.

So, the very notion that, post-911, the American creators of the terrorist monster would serve to protect the civilized world from their own creation was always a deeply suspect proposition.

The truth is that the US never stopped colluding with these terror groups since the days of the putative Afghan Vietnam for the Soviet Union.

The 911 incidents may have been some form of “blowback” or, plausibly, it was American intelligence handlers contriving a plot which would give imperialist planners their much-desired “new Pearl Harbor” – a blank check to declare war on the planet for the benefit of advancing US strategic interests.

Granted, the success of that nefarious covert scheme is questionable given the unforeseen huge financial and social costs to American society, as well as from general bedlam undermining global security.

For observers willing to see, it seems indisputable that there is something of a symbiotic relationship between Islamist terror proxies and the US imperialist state. The official “enemy” is a boon for justifying oppressive state powers against citizens; it serves as a pump for bloated budgets to the military-industrial complex at the heart of the American capitalist economy; and this enemy can also serve as target practice for illegal military intervention in foreign countries – US interventions that would otherwise be seen for what they are, as “criminal aggression”.

Further, the terror proxies continue to serve as a cat’s paws for US imperialism, as in the earlier formation in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. Rather than direct large-scale American military involvement, the Al Qaeda brigades are deployed to do Washington’s dirty work. Syria is emerging as the new Afghanistan.

Officially, the Pentagon and US corporate news media scoff at these claims of collusion with terrorists. “We are bombing Syria to defeat terrorists,” so goes the mantra. Substitute any number of countries for “Syria”, as required.

Well, if that’s the case why have senior US military people like Michael Flynn admitted that the former Obama administration deliberately cultivated the terror brigades in Syria? Why have hundreds of millions of dollars gone into forming a non-existent “moderate rebel army” in Syria only for the American weaponry to end up in the hands of terror groups like Nusra Front?
What about credible reports of US military helicopters airlifting Nusra commanders out of harm’s way to other, safer parts of Syria? Similar reports of airlifting, or airdropping weapons, have come out of Afghanistan, where the Pentagon is still “fighting terrorists” – 17 years after 911.

It has taken a painfully long time over the eight years of war in Syria to uncover the full and real extent of criminality by the US and its British and French allies, along with the Saudis, Turks and Israelis.

But now we are coming full circle. President Donald Trump and his officials are warning that they will launch military strikes on Syria if the Syrian army and its Russian and Iranian allies proceed with the offensive to retake Idlib province. The northwest province is the last-remaining stronghold of anti-government militants. These militants are not the illusory “moderate rebels” the Western media have long bamboozled the public with. The militants comprise Nusra Front, Ahrar al Sham, Islamic State, and other self-professed Wahhabi jihadists of the Al Qaeda franchise. The myriad, mercurial names are merely part of the US cynical cover.

Trump – the supposed non-interventionist president – has even discarded the earlier ruse of invoking “chemical weapons” as a pretext for a US military attack on Syria. He and his officials are simply saying that any offensive by the Syrian army to retake all of its territory is an “unacceptable escalation” that will be met with a US military response.

There is no other credible rationale for such military deployment by Washington in Syria. The Western media are as usual riding shotgun with the mendacity, claiming that the Syrian army offensive will trigger a “humanitarian crisis”, rather than reporting the salient fact that the offensive is aimed at eradicating the most vile terror groups from that country.

In Syria, today, 17 years after 911, the real relationship between US authorities and terrorism is on display. The United States of Anarchy.

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India Diversifying Reserves Away From Dollar, Buying up Gold

As US threatens sanctions over S-400 purchase India's dollar holdings decline even as total reserves grow

The world's second biggest gold consumer continues to replenish its bullion reserves, a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report shows. At the same time, New Delhi is slowly but surely reducing its share of US debt bonds.

The annual report from the Indian financial regulator reveals that the country followed other BRICS partners in adding physical gold to its foreign exchange reserves. The RBI reportedly bought 8.46 metric tons of gold during the last fiscal year ending in March.
As of the end of June, the country’s central bank held 566.23 metric tons of gold against 557.77 metric tons a year ago. The RBI purchased gold for the first time in nearly a decade. The regulator acquired 200 metric tons of the precious metal in 2009 shortly after the global financial crisis.

According to the RBI, India’s international reserves rose by five percent from June 2017 to June 2018 in comparison to the 6.3 percent growth seen in the same period in the previous year.
“Diversification of India's Foreign Currency Assets continued during the year with attention being ascribed to risk management, including cybersecurity risk. The gold portfolio has also been activated,” the report added.

Meanwhile, the country’s share of US sovereign debt saw a gradual decline from $157 billion in March to $148.9 billion by May, according to the latest US Treasury report.

Eliminating US sovereign bonds has recently become a trend among major holders. According to the latest statistics, Russia dumped 84 percent of its holdings during 2018, while Turkey’s share of US Treasuries fell by 42 percent during the first half of the current year.

At the same time, Japan and China, the biggest holders of the US papers also reduced their shares, albeit insignificantly.

Source: https://www.rt.com/business/437760-india-gold-reserves-us-treasuries/
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Russia locks horns with Turkey in Astana, as U.S. prepares false flag attack in Syria (Video)



According to RT, the Russian military has obtained “irrefutable” data that terrorist groups, including Jabhat an-Nusra, and the infamous White Helmets met in Idlib province on Sunday, according to the ministry’s spokesperson Igor Konashenkov.
The militants plotted the final scenarios for the chemical attacks that the Syrian army are expected to make in the cities of Jisr ash-Shugur, Serakab, Taftanaz and Sarmin, the Russian military revealed.
“Full readiness of all participants involved in the staging of the provocations is be ensured by the evening of September 8,”Konashenkov stated. He added that the terrorists are to receive a “special” signal from some “foreign friends of Syrian revolution” to launch the operation.
The statement comes after earlier warnings from Moscow’s that militants are preparing to stage a chemical attack in the Syrian province to give the Western coalition a pretext to strike Syria. In August, the Defense Ministry said that eight canisters of chlorine had been delivered to a village near Jisr al-Shughur city, and that a foreign-trained group of militants had also arrived in the area to simulate a rescue operation after the staged attack.
The US and its allies have repeatedly stressed its readiness to strike Syria if any attack takes place, ignoring all Russia’s warnings. Washington’s envoy to the UN Nikki Haley recently said that she already knows the perpetrators in case a chemical incident takes place in Syria.
In late August, American forces deployed missile destroyer USS ‘Ross’ to the Mediterranean and USS ‘The Sullivans’ to the Persian Gulf. The preparation of US military forces was condemned by Russia, with its Defense Ministry describing the move as “the latest evidence of the US intention” to take advantage of a false-flag attack.
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and International Affairs and Security Analyst, from Moscow, Mark Sleboda discuss the “Astana process,” where Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, met in Tehran to discuss the situation in Idlib and the rest of Syria.
The three leaders agreed that radical Islamists pose a threat to Syria, but there was no unanimous support for a major offensive in what is considered to be the last terrorist stronghold. The final document of the summit called for all armed groups in Idlib to lay down arms and seek a political transition in the country.


Via Zerohedge
Amidst extreme tensions ratcheting up over the past days as Russian and Syrian forces have initiated their final assault on al-Qaeda held Idlib, the presidents of Iran, Russia, and Turkey are meeting in what’s broadly described as a “high stakes summit” in Tehran on Friday.
Pressure is high after Thursday evening statements by a top State Department envoy on Syria, who told reporters“There is lots of evidence that chemical weapons are being prepared.” The envoy, Jim Jeffrey, doubled down on prior promises that “Assad would be guilty” for any future chemical attack in Syria.
But it seems what appears to be a coordinated White House effort at calculated pressure to deter the Syria-Russia operation in Idlib is having an effect. An early statement from the summit carried in Iran state media says Iran, Russia, and Turkey have agreed that the Syria conflict can only end through “negotiated political process” and not through military means.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly pushed for a cease-fire plan at the summit, warning that the massive Idlib battle would be “a bloodbath” and will be a serious national security threat to his country, and further warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe” unfolding.
However Russian President Vladimir Putin underscored Syrian sovereignty and Assad’s “right” to regian control over territory currently held by terrorists. This, in line with President Assad’s prior promises to “regain every inch” of Syrian national territory before the war.
“Idlib isn’t just important for Syria’s future, it is of importance for our national security and for the future of the region,” Erdogan said during formal statements at the Friday summit. “Any attack on Idlib would result in a catastrophe. Any fight against terrorists requires methods based on time and patience,” he added, saying “we don’t want Idlib to turn into a bloodbath.” He concluded “We must find a reasonable way out for Idlib.”
Putin responded, “We should think together over all aspects of this complicated issue,” while asserting“We should solve this issue together and (we should) all realize that the legitimate Syrian government has the right and eventually should be able to regain control of all of its territory.”
Putin hinted at being open to a ceasefire, nothing “a cease-fire would be good” but suggested that it ultimately wouldn’t hold. He also warned that according to Russian intelligence insurgents in Idlib are planning “provocations,” possibly including chemical weapons.
Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani demanded an immediate withdrawal of US troops, telling his Russian and Turkish counterparts, “we have to force the United States to leave,” but didn’t detail exactly how this would be done.
“The fires of war and bloodshed in Syria are reaching their end,” Rouhani said, and reaffirmed alongside Putin that terrorism must “be uprooted in Syria, particularly in Idlib.”

Source: http://theduran.com/russia-locks-horns-with-turkey-in-astana-as-u-s-prepares-false-flag-attack-in-syria-video/
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Syria Conflict: Results Of Meeting Between Rouhani, Erdogan, Putin In Teheran



The presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran met in the Iranian capital of Tehran on September 7 to discuss the issue of the northern Syrian governorate of Idlib, which is controlled by several radical groups, including the former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
During the meeting, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country can’t accommodate any more refugees and proposed a truce in Idlib as a solution. However, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin rejected the proposal and noted that any truce will be pointless as it would not involve radical groups such as HTS and ISIS.
“I think in general the Turkish president is right. It would be good. But I can’t speak for them, and even more so can’t talk for terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra [HTS] or ISIS that they will stop shooting or stop using drones with bombs,” President Putin said according to the Reuters news agency.
Despite failing to reach an agreement on Idlib issue, the three leaders stressed in the final statement of the summit that separating moderate opposition fighters from terrorists and protecting civilians are essential steps for stabilizing the northern Syrian governorate.
“Separating the aforementioned terrorist organizations from the armed opposition factions that have joined or will join the system of cessation of fighting will be of vital importance in order to avoid casualties among the civilians,” the leaders said in the final stamen of the summit.
Russia, Turkey and Iran also rejected any attempts to divide Syria under the pretext of fighting terrorism and vowed to support the U.N. sponsored peace process in the country.
“We are determined to continue active cooperation to advance the political process in line with the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Conference in Sochi and Security Council Resolution 2254,” the statement reads.
The inability of the sides to agree on a final solution of the Idlib issue may lead to an escalation in northwestern Syria. Some sources expect that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies may even launch a military operation against  terrorist groups in the region despite an open opposition of Turkey.

Source: https://southfront.org/syria-conflict-results-of-meeting-between-rouhani-erdogan-putin-in-teheran/
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Has Erdogan “switched sides again” or is he trying to kick-start the Sochi Peace Conference?

Has Erdogan “switched sides again” or is he trying to kick-start the Sochi Peace Conference?

A Russia Truth exclusive article by Adam Garrie

Turkey’s President Erdogan has apparently conducted an about face just weeks after Turkey confirmed that the Syrian government is no longer considered an enemy.



Moments ago, Erdogan stated,
“Assad is definitely a terrorist who has carried out state terrorism… It is impossible to continue with Assad. How can we embrace the future with a Syrian president who has killed close to a million of his citizens?"

Taken at face value, Erdogan seems to be publically renouncing previous, however subtle steps which pointed in the direction of long-term reconciliation with Damascus as facilitated by the Astana format.

However, there could be something more to Erdogan’s overtly offensive statements.
This week, the terrorist group Free Syrian Army, parts of which have long been under Turkey’s patronage, issued a statement saying that they refuse to participate in the forthcoming Sochi peace conference, to be held under the supervision of the Astana peace brokers which include, Russia, Iran and Turkey.

As Turkey remains committed to this format, it seems that Erdogan might be coaxing the FSA, who ‘look up’ to Erdogan, that it might be a prudent move for the FSA to change their mind regarding Astana. Put another way, if Erdogan and the FSA both go into Astana spouting anti-Damascus rhetoric, the terrorist group might feel less isolated while at the negotiating table.

Of course, this brings into question, the wisdom of any peace conference where terrorists sit at the negotiating table, but the fact remains that Russia has made it clear that it would like Sochi to be the beginning of a long but unambiguous process which will lead to the total cessation of violence in Syria and as such, wants as many factions to agree to a permanent ceasefire as possible.

The question therefore remains: has Erdogan once again “switched sides” or is he giving a signal to his FSA followers to come out of the woodwork and appear at Sochi in what approximates good faith, considering there are a violent jihadist group?

The real answer will only be fully known in time, but logically, these are the only two options and because President al-Assad isn’t going anywhere, Erdogan would be foolish to suggest that this is a possibility among a serious audience.

Therefore, one can conclude that his intended audience was not a serious one—it may well have been the terrorist FSA, a group which is as far from a serious audience as one could imagine.
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