On Saturday August 20th, the AP bannered «Turkey: Assad can be part of transition in Syria», and reported that «Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Saturday his country is willing to accept a role for Syrian President Bashar Assad during a transitional period but insisted he has no place in Syria’s future… ‘Could Syria carry Assad in the long-term? Certainly not… The United States knows and Russia knows that Assad does not appear to be someone who can bring (the people) together’».
Of course, Russia does not «know» that (and, in fact, more than 50 % of Syrians even when polled by western firms, want Assad to continue being President of Syria, and more than 80 % blame the US for backing the jihadists), but Turkey’s statement that Russia does «know» it, will help the Turkish public (whom the Erdogan regime has indoctrinated to consider Assad evil) acclimate to thinking of Assad’s ally Russia as being actually a friend, no foe, of Turkey; and this will, in turn, assist Erdogan going forward, especially if he’s aiming to, for example, remove Turkey from the NATO alliance and align with Russian foreign policy.
What’s happening here is the setting of the terms for the next Presidential election in Syria. Washington and its allies (which used to include its fellow-NATO-member Turkey) demand that the Syrian ‘democratic revolution’ (or foreign invasion by fundamentalist-Sunni jihadists hired and armed by the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and UAE) succeed and establish a fundamentalist-Sunni leader for Syria, who will then, perhaps, hold elections, which, perhaps, will be ‘democratic’ instead of imposing Sunni Islamic law. But Assad, and Russia, demand that there be no such overthrow prior to the election; and, now, Turkey has stated that this would be acceptable to them. That’s a big change in Turkey’s international relations.
How seriously should one take Turkey’s continuing demand that «Certainly not» could the Syrian people re-elect Assad to be their President? One should take it with a grain of salt that would easily be washed away if Assad does win that election.
In other words: Turkey has announced, on August 20th, that, at least on the Syrian issue, it’s no longer an ally of the US
An earthquake has thus happened in international relations.