In recent weeks with Russian air support, Syrian troops have retaken large swaths of territory from ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist fighters. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has even begun approaching the Euphrates River east of Aleppo, which would effectively cut off ISIS from its supply lines leading out of Turkish territory.And for Russian President Vladimir Putin's immediate response, see this.
From there, Syrian troops would move north, into the very “safe zone” the US and its Turkish partners have long-sought but have so far failed to establish within Syria’s borders. This “safe zone” includes a region of northern Syrian stretching from Jarabulus near the west bank of the Euphrates to Afrin and Ad Dana approximately 90-100 kilometers west.
Once Syrian troops retake this territory, the prospect of the West ever making an incursion into Syria, holding territory, or compromising Syria’s territorial integrity would be lost forever. Western ambitions toward regime change in Damascus would be indefinitely suspended.
The endgame is at hand, and only the most desperate measures can hope to prevent Russia and Syria from finally securing Syria’s borders. Turkey’s provocation is just such a measure.
Mr Putin ended his speech by suggesting Turkey wanted Nato “to serve” ISIS. He earlier described the Turks as “accomplices of terrorists”.And that, of course, is what Turkey has been doing all along.
“Instead of contacting us, Turkey went to its partners in Nato to discuss this incident. As if it was us who downed a Turkish plane, and not vice versa. What? They want to make NATO serve ISIS?”