US intention in Syria is a quagmire for Russia: Cyprus, Turkey, and Islamists

US intention in Syria is a quagmire for Russia: Cyprus, Turkey, and Islamists

Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

The endless conflict in Syria is at a dreaded stalemate where America and Turkey seek an endless quagmire for Syria and the Russian Federation. For America, even if Sunni Islamists have cleansed Alawites, Christians, and other minorities, the only issue is a quagmire for the Russian Federation. Meanwhile, for Turkey, it is about expanding its geographic influence, weakening Syria, and curtailing the rights of Kurds in Northern Syria.

Political elites in the Russian Federation need to persuade Turkey to curtail its ambitions in Northern Syria. Or accept the final push against the proxies of Turkey will create convulsions.

If not, the conflict will continue to drag on and create further bloodshed. Likewise, Syria will become a training ground for international Sunni Islamists that will hinder progress in Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Equally, the economic burden for the Russian Federation will remain high.

The tactics of Turkey are undermining the geopolitical goals of the Russian Federation and threaten to unleash “a paper tiger.” This relates to regional nations, including Saudi Arabia, looking at the initial stage of the military response of the Russian Federation with awe. However, Turkey, with the nod from America, is showing the limitations of Moscow’s power projections and stabilization processes.

The Kurds in Northern Syria also need to understand that America abandoned them to the first combined surge of the armed forces of Turkey and several Sunni Islamist proxies. Likewise, it is known that Turkey seeks to Arabize areas of Kurdish and other minority areas in the north. Thereby altering the ethnic landscape.

Hence, the Kurds need to take a gamble that acknowledges Washington will always put Ankara first. In other words, the Kurds need a new political process based on internal self-interests.

James Jeffrey, the United States Special Representative for Syria, uttered, “This isn’t Afghanistan, this isn’t Vietnam… This isn’t a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians.” 

America is fine to keep on plugging the approach of Turkey despite Ankara’s proxy Sunni Islamists including al-Qaeda. Then reformulating under the power control mechanisms of Turkey and doing Ankara’s bidding in Syria and Libya in recent times.

It is bad enough that America and NATO abandoned Orthodox Christians in Northern Cyprus many decades ago. This policy culminated in Turkish settlements and the erasure of Orthodox Christianity in Northern Cyprus. However, many decades later and forces that are anti-Christian, anti-Kurdish, and anti-secular are once more backed by America and Turkey.

Newsweek reports, “U.S allies Israel and Turkey are also fighting against Assad and his backers. Turkey has conducted multiple invasions of Syrian territory, including against the U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces.”

America’s policy is also encouraging Turkey’s Ottoman dream of expanding its influence throughout the region. Hence, Turkey is seeking to utilize Northern Cyprus and Libya, to further its energy policies and threaten the economic potential of Cyprus.

Overall, just like Christians and other minorities including the Yazidis were expendable in Iraq – just like in Northern Cyprus – the same applies to religious minorities in Syria. Similarly, indigenous Sunni Islam will fall under Takfiri Islamism in Iraq and Syria. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood is increasing its influence in Turkey.

Thus, America is fine with sectarianism, the religious cleansing of minorities, and working with Turkey even if this culminates with negative consequences for loyal Kurds. Therefore, the blood will keep flowing based on creating an economic and military quagmire for the Russian Federation.

Of course, a genuine political solution is extremely difficult under the prevailing conditions. However, the policy of creating a quagmire for the Russian Federation and encouraging Turkey – and its Ottoman dream – is extremely callous because this equates to endless bloodshed and regional destabilization.

This is brutal and will further the hand of Sunni Islamism over indigenous Sunni Islam. Equally, it will embolden the tentacles of Turkey throughout the region.


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