Turkey and Saudi Arabia Will be the Biggest Losers

Turkey and Saudi Arabia Will be the Biggest Losers
Thu Oct 8, 2015 21:33:32

Rida M. Harb head of “Center for Global Security and Geopolitical Studies” in an article analyzes turkey and Saudi Arabia future in Syria when Russia as a new game changer directly involved in fight against terrorism, he thinks Turkey and Saudi Arabia will be the biggest losers.

I recall saying to two Turkish guests “Turkey will be the biggest loser”. That was about a year ago. I believe they did not bother to take my initial perspective into consideration because they were still obsessed with the idea that the battle for and over Syria was almost over and the fall of Bashar Al-assad was inevitable. Now, from analytical perspective I am more convinced that Turkey and Saudi Arabia will be the biggest losers. Saudi Arabia is sinking in the Yemen quagmire.

In June, I wrote an article about Turkey. I concluded it “Turkey’s summer is going to be very hot, perhaps uncontainable”.

I am certain that many people did not agree with my views that time. However, there are strong indications that chaos will hit Turkey unless a shift in the regime’s regional policy emerges.

Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Davutoğlu thought that deepening ethnic and sectarian fault lines in Syria and Iraq may offer them a unique opportunity to meddle with the geographical lines in Northern Syria and Northern Iraq, without considering that Turkey’s demography is not in a better position, ethnic fault lines are deeper than predicted. Regardless of how observers define the confrontation between Turkish forces and Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), Erdogan’s hostile attitude risks a full scale confrontation with the entire Kurds community which represents about 15 percent of the Turkey’s population.

Furthermore, Turkey faces a combination of serious internal problems that could add up to chaos: political instability, economic slowdown, political polarization, Erdogan’s crude method in dealing with opponents and adversaries, his mental reprisals, if Erdogan managed to withstand Taqsim Square, he is now too vulnerable to  withstand multiple shocks.

Unlike USA, Russia’s strategy in the ‘War on Terror’ is no less than ‘Check mate’. Such strategy adds up to Turkey’s problems. Turkey’s attempts to play with Syria’s geographical lines are over. Multi-national Takfiri terrorists are on the run. They have no other choice than crossing Turkish borders.

Turkey accused Russia of violating its airspace south of Hatay province and threatened to take necessary steps, although Prime Minister did not say what kind of measures “Necessary steps would be taken against whoever violates Turkey’s borders,” said Mr. Davutoğlu. He also threatened to activate rules of engagement. What does that mean?

Yesterday Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that warships in the Caspian Sea had launched 26 sea-based cruise missiles on 11 ISIL targets, including command and control centers and ammunition depots.

It is still too early to understand the Russians intentions. However, the use of such precision cruise missiles against targets 1500km away carries a message that Russia is willing to lift its intervention to the necessary level.

The strikes came as Syrian troops backed by Russian air power launched their first major ground offensive. New reports say that after Hama and Homs, another major offensive will take place - the Idlib showdown. How Mr. Erdogan reacts to his allies’ defeat could be vital to Turkey’s internal and border stability. Erdogan is not in position but to act in concert with the 5+1. However, His rationality is questioned.

Russia’s move is calculated in the context of vital changes in balance of power, and such move does not afford failure, else will be catastrophic.

2015-10-08 Rida M. Harb


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