Mutual interests behind Moscow’s inaction over escalation in Syria’s Ain Issa, Russia politician

ISTANBUL, Turkey (North Press) – A Russian politician stated on Wednesday, that the Russian silence regarding the Turkish military escalation in the town of Ain Issa, northern Raqqa, reflects mutual interests between the two countries.

During the past period, the town of Ain Issa and areas in Tel Abyad were subjected to successive military developments.  

These developments were represented in several infiltration attempts by the Turkish-backed armed opposition groups against the Syrian Democratic Forces-held areas, that was accompanied with Turkish intensive shelling on the area.

The Turkish forces and their backed armed opposition groups have been shelling Ain Issa and its surroundings since Sunday.

“Earlier in June, the indications of Turkish preparations to launch a new military operation northeastern Syria emerged,” Denis Korkodinov, the president of the International Center for Political Analysis and Forecasting based in Moscow, told North Press.

The Turkish army mobilized its forces on the outskirts of areas west of Ain Issa as well as reinforced its posts in the city of Sere Kaniye and its surroundings.

“Ain Issa lies on the M4 Highway, which is considered of great importance for the Turkish interests that secure an easy interference to both cities of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor,” Korkodinov said.  

“The pretexts of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey has the right to rule the city of Ain Issa, are baseless,” he added.

According to the Russian-Turkish agreements, Ain Issa is a Turkish control free zone.   

Since May 25, Russian officials provide protection for the civilians’ cars which travelling on the M4 Highway between Ain Issa and Tel Tamr.  

“The Russian silence in the light of the Turkish shelling comes within the fact that it considers Idlib its only priority in Syria,” he noted. 

He connected what was going on in northeast Syria to what was agreed upon in Nagorno-Karabakh.  

He believed that the Russia and Turkey may have reached an agreement stating that Turkey is committed to not create problems for the Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, in exchange for Russia’s silence regarding Turkey’s moves in northeastern Syria.

“Interior political disorder in the United States caused by the transfer of presidential power, from Donald Trump to Joe Biden, escalates conflicts around the world,” he added.

“Turkey is trying to take advantage of the situation for its interests, by launching a military offensive in northeastern Syria, believing that the new American president will not dare to start his presidency with a military campaign in Syria,” he stated.

“The situation may change dramatically after the inauguration of Joe Biden in early January 2021, where the American president may get a carte blanche to use military force,” He pointed out.

Erdogan will be forced to suspend his military operation against the SDF at the beginning of 2021, waiting for Washington’s rresponse, according to him.

A Russian military base is operating in Ain Issa, while American soldiers are stationed in Deir ez-Zor, “the Turkish offensive may create a threat to the Russian and American interests,” as Korkodinov mentioned.

“Turkey will not be allowed to launch a large-scale military campaign on the outskirts of Ain Issa,” he said.

There are Russian bases and Syrian government military posts in the area that are stationed there according to an agreement with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Ain Issa has strategic importance, being near the M4 Highway, which connects Syria’s north and south and is a vital gateway for both commercial and personal travel.

Reporting by Sardar Hadid