Political expert plays down recent Turkish threats to northeast Syria

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Rami al-Shaer, a political analyst close to the Russian Foreign Ministry, played down on Tuesday the Turkish threats to northeast Syria.

“They are nothing but measures for returning Syrian refugees,” he said.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that “We will soon take new steps regarding the incomplete portions of the project we started on the 30-km deep safe zone we established along our southern border.”

“There is no need for Turkey to carry out a new military operation. It is militarily present on the ground in northwest Syria and is in control of the situation,” al-Shaer told North Press.

Al-Shaer based his analysis on the fact that “the military operation that Turkey intended to launch three years ago in northeast Syria was avoided, after the meeting between Erdogan and his Russian counterpart.”

“However, Turkey may take some measures to secure transferring the Syrian refugees from Turkey to Syria,” he added.

“Turkey will have to take certain measures to secure the creation of the conditions required for the return of all refugees to Syrian territory if no progress is made in resolving the Syrian crisis,” he said.

“These measures do not mean a military operation. Rather, it would be a military and security plan that enhances the stability on the borders and in the areas of refugee return and the opposition-held areas,” he added.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Monday in response to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statements that “There is no strategic change in the deployment of the international guarantors in the regions of northeast Syria.”

Turkey is displaying its power and heating up the situation in order to undermine the region’s stability and revive ISIS sleeper cells, the statement added.

The SDF said that its forces “are evaluating the level of the actual and potential Turkish threats to northeast Syria, and exchanging the information with the international grantors.”

Reporting by Hoshang Hassan