SOHR exclusive | Politicians clarify dimensions and outcomes of the latest trilateral summit • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SOHR exclusive | Politicians clarify dimensions and outcomes of the latest trilateral summit

SOHR exclusive | Politicians clarify dimensions and outcomes of the latest trilateral summit

 

The Iranian-Russian-Turkish summit, which was held in Tehran, concluded its work, after the three leaders had discussed the path of Astana which is related to the Syrian crisis and other causes, including the development of Iran’s nuclear program and the war in Ukraine.

 

In an exclusive SOHR interview with the regime opponent and journalist, Ahmed Mazhar Sa’du commented on the latest trilateral summit, stressing that the most important decision announced in the statement made by the participants was the consensus on extending the fragile ceasefire in Idlib. That ceasefire deal was reached between Erdogan and Putin during their meeting in Sochi on March 5, 2020. The Syrian journalist clarified, “this decision is important for nearly three million Syrian people living in this area. However, the door is still open for more violations under the pretext of ‘countering terrorism wherever it is.’ This decision enables Russia and Iran to label any faction operating in the region as a ‘terrorist formation’ in order to attack members of specific factions and innocent civilian supporters, and this is what exactly happened for the past two years.”

 

Mr. Sa’du says, “the meetings held under this summit, which are held periodically by the guarantors and sponsors of Astana agreement, have not brought the Syrian crisis to an end. The crisis has become more complicated, especially with the complex regional and international developments and abandonment by the international community which is now busy with the successive developments and repercussions of Russian-Ukrainian war.”

 

Replying to SOHR question about his reaction to the comment by “Putin” who described the discussions as “good,” the journalist says, “Putin’s description of the discussions as ‘good’ was useful as a diplomatic statement aimed at proving the success of the summit, especially since this summit coincided with Biden-led summit in Jeddah. However, disagreements among the trilateral summit’s participants remain unsettled. The most prominent disagreement is manifested in the Russian and Iranian rejection of the potential incursion by Turkish forces into Tel Rifaat and Manbij in north Syria. Accordingly, the contradictory stances in this regard have placed obstacles on the way to settle other issues, except for economic affairs and trade. Trade between Iran and Turkey is about to reach an unprecedented level approximating 30 billion USD.”

 

On the other hand, the co-head of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), Riad Darar sees that the trilateral summit has determined the destiny of the military operation which was expected to target areas in north Syria region, referring to the fact that Russia and Iran have refused to give Turkey a green light to such incursions and warned against unwelcome repercussions on Ankara and the entire region. Darar clarifies that Turkish calculations will be postponed under the pretext that “the agreements will accomplish their objectives, in the case that regime forces take the control of these areas, forcing SDF to retreat into Syrian territory to a distance of 30 kilometres away from the border strip.” Darar points out, “Ankara has threatened to invade the area. However, it only cares about the implementation of Astana agreement which stipulates handing over all areas along the Syria-Turkey border to the Syrian regime. This justifies Ankara’s efforts to gradually normalise relations with Damascus, with the consensus view by Russian and Iran. On the other hand, the US stance embarrasses Turkey, especially since the two powers are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).”

 

Responding a question by SOHR about Erdogan’s statement in which he said “we have discussed the ways to settle the Syrian crisis and how to bring back calm and stability in Syrian territory with the assurance that this is a joint task which needs to intensify joint efforts,” the co-head of the SDC has said, “in fact, the Turkish president’ statements showed that he was very worried. This indicates that there has been no a stable stance and that Erdogan waits for reactions and the benefits he is able to gain. Everyone has noticed the remarkable aimless and frequent movements by the Turkish delegation, which means that the delegation itself was unsatisfied with these statements. Moreover, Erdogan won USA criticism, after having called it to leave Syria during the meeting. Ankara has never released such clear statements against Washington, although all Astana agreements stipulate the necessity of expelling US forces from Syria.”

 

“In the meantime, Iran and Russia seek to humiliate Erdogan, noting that the US presence in Syria is important to reach a peaceful settlement. It is not about Erdogan it self, as he may be kicked out by elections, but it is about the strategic relationship between Turkey and the USA. Accordingly, Russia and Iran are exerting all possible efforts to fray this strategic relationship by entering into bargaining deals with Turkey in Syrian,” adds Sheikh Riad Darar.

 

Darar sees that the Autonomous Administration has been established to confront those who call for dividing Syrian territory, noting that the accusations against the Autonomous Administration aim at inciting ethnic hatred and interfering in the region’s affairs. He says, “the Autonomous Administration has been established in a region that suffered from absence of the state’s authorities and struggled with dreadful conditions for years under ISIS control, before it was liberated by its people. The Autonomous Administration is a regime able to secure a better future for the Syrians, after reaching a political settlement, and the region under its control is considered a miniature model of Syria designed to rescue the country from darkness and compensate Syrians for all tragedies they have been battered for decades. The model of the Autonomous Administration has enabled all the region’s people of all backgrounds to participate in the political process. Accordingly, there will be no exclusion of any parties. On the contrary, the previous regime excluded, ignored and shunned off several constituents and segments of Syrian society.”

 

Darar has stressed that all accusations against the Autonomous Administration are baseless, explaining that Russia’s claims about “US efforts to establish a separatist body in that region” stem from disagreements between Moscow and Washington.

 

“On the other hand, Turkey has turned to make use of these baseless claims as a part of its ongoing battle with Kurdistan Workers’ Party, especially since the Turkish regime acts as if that region is under the control of Kurdistan Workers’ Party. This is totally untrue, but Turkey just wants to justify its interference and incursion into north Syria region,” Darar adds.