Syrian government has accused Turkey of invasion amid entry of Turkish troops into Idlib, and demands immediate withdrawal with no exception. Turkey denies any wrongdoing, claims its troops are in Idlib to secure de-escalation zones as agreed with Russia and Iran during last Astana meeting.
Question is whether Turkey is still trying to play a double game in Syria. Can Erdogan afford to turn his back on Russia and Iran at this juncture?
Quite unlikely, according to our estimates, as both internal and external pressure are high – Erdogan’s best bet is to stick to Astana agreement and guard own national security by building stronger military alliance with Iraq and Iran.
Further adventures in Syria and (former) neo-Ottoman dreams are best left behind as they are the surefire way to lead to Turkey facing situation similar to the one of Iraq and Syria.
Western patience seems to have dried up as US shows less tolerance for Erdogan’s attempts at exerting pressure by jailing and holding American citizens. US overreaction after its consular employees arrest is but one case in point.
Turkey’s military is now being engaged on three fronts, two external, one internal. Extension of the state of emergency shows that tensions will likely rise in the coming months. Turkey (and Erdogan) bracing for tough times ahead.