US, Russia avoid pressuring Turkey to end attacks on NE Syria – Analysts

QAMISLI, Syria (North Press) – Analysts believe the US and Russia do not want to put more pressure on Turkey to stop it from conducting “low-level” attacks on northeastern Syria.

John Rossomando, geopolitical analyst and expert on the Middle East, told North Press that the US and Russia avoided being involved in Turkeys’ recent attacks and the international policy in northeast Syria has focused on creating “a largely stable governance area and to keep ISIS at bay in the wake of its destructive reign.”

On Oct. 5, Turkey launched many airstrikes, artillery shells, and drone strikes against 28 infrastructure facilities, 150 residential areas, 34 military sites, including 21 locations of the Syrian government forces, seven farmlands, three factories, a school and a hospital, according to the Monitoring and Documentation Department of North Press.

Turkey views the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as an arm of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which prompted the current Turkish attacks on northeastern Syria, according to Rossomando.

He further said the US’ main interest in the region is to keep ISIS under control.

Meanwhile, Calvin Wilder, senior analyst at New Lines Institute, noted the US views cooperation with Turkey “as a very high priority” and was definitely reluctant to put pressure on Turkey “to change its behavior in Syria, since that could alienate Erdogan and make cooperation on other priorities harder.”

Wilder explained that if the US plays the role of “mediator” between Turkey and the SDF, it would “complicate the U.S.-Turkey relationship in ways no one in Washington is willing to commit to.”

As for Russia, its priorities in Syria depend on cooperation on certain levels with Turkey, he noted.

Wilder added that the US and Russia have certainly pressured Turkey to stop it from conducting major new military operations in the region, but they are not “willing to apply the amount of pressure on Turkey to prevent these lower-level drone strikes and artillery attacks”.

By Stella Youssef