The “source of strength” Erdogan showed the weakness of Israel. Ankara is playing to Tehran

«Источник силы» Эрдогана показал слабость Израиля. Анкара подыгрывает Тегерану

Military assault of Turkey against Kurds in North-Eastern Syria has raised allegations by the Islamic Republic, but the Iranian authorities understand that ultimately it can benefit them.With the beginning of the civil war in Syria in March 2011, Iran and Turkey were on opposite sides of the barricades in the middle East. Tehran and Moscow played a crucial role in the survival of the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Ankara sought to overthrow him and supported the rebellion against the government.Not surprisingly, Iran welcomed the statement of the President of the United States trump the fact that the American troops will be evacuated from Northern Syria, as Tehran believed that their presence on Syrian soil is a flagrant violation of Syrian sovereignty. However, the decision of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the invasion of Kurdish territory in Syria was seen by his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani as contributing to instability and caused the conviction (https://www.bbc.com/persian/49986947).Despite the criticism, Tehran does not want to risk its relations with Turkey to bypass the US sanctions. Turkey is an important channel of supply of Iranian gas to the European market.In parallel with the “Source of strength” Tehran launched military exercises near the Turkish border under the code name “One goal, one bullet”. Combining infantry and armored units with the special units to combat terrorism, the Iranians have signaled the Turkish army on its military prowess and made it clear to the citizens of Kurdish origin in Western Azerbaijan that is not recommended to pour oil on the fire.“ The Islamic revolutionary guard corps and its subordinate militias can increase its presence in Northern Syria “Despite the attempts of Iran to calm yourself from the Kurdish minority (which is estimated at about eight million), across Iran erupted massive protests against Turkish institutions, held under the slogan “Rozhava, you’re not alone” (Rozhava – Autonomous Kurdish education).Calls and entreaties Rouhani, as expected, did not convince Erdogan to reconsider the position: 9 October, the Turkish army launched a massive attack on the Northern Syrian city, which has led to casualties and the withdrawal of Kurdish forces. In the absence of assistance and support from the US on 13 October, the Kurds have signed with Damascus, the agreement under which the army cap will be deployed along the Syrian-Turkish border .17 Oct Erdogan and Vice-President of the United States Penny has agreed to impose a 120-hour truce, which allowed the Kurdish forces to withdraw from the Turkish border for 32 miles. In Iranian media the event was covered briefly.Tehran wants to extend “strategic depth” presence in areas outside of the borders of Iran, but under its control and the Turkish invasion, to a certain extent put this policy into question.First, the deployment of operation “power pack” has violated the territorial sovereignty of Syria, the prestige of President Assad undermined that Tehran is considered unacceptable. On the other hand, there are many Salafi-jihadist groups, “Khayat Tahrir al-sham”, the “Jaish al-Islam, Sukur al-sham”, stationed near the location of the Turkish army. These militias (some come from “al-Qaeda”*) see Shiite Islam a heresy, and its followers deem worthy of persecution.For services to Iran’s security deployment of the Pro-Turkish Salafi militias is unacceptable. The Sunni-Shia schism in the Iranian collective consciousness that lies deep. Domination IG** (banned in Russia) has become a serious problem for the Tehran politicians who understand the potential threat that jihadists pose to Shia Islam in General and Iran in particular. The deployment of Sunni insurgents may also limit the maneuverability of the Iranian forces in Northern Syria.Tehran is concerned about the ethnic dimension. The national aspirations of the Kurdish minority to create serious problems for all four neighbouring countries, which are home to most of the divided nation. The precedent Kurdish Autonomous areas in Syria is unacceptable for the Iranian establishment, in Tehran remember the uprising that led in January 1946 to create a “Republic of Mahabad”.In addition, Iran fear of the idea of the “Great Kurdistan” and a sense of national affinity between Kurds from different countries (despite their division and tribal loyalty). The Iranian leadership will not tolerate the fermentation of minds, which can lead to ethnic unrest. Therefore, there is great concern with looking at a demonstration against Turkish aggression.At the same time, the approach of Ankara can contribute to the promotion of Iranian interests. In comparison with the presence of Turkish forces in North-Eastern Syria, the Iranian presence in the area can be considered as legitimate. Despite the tactical coordination between Iran, Russia and Turkey, is Ankara’s desire to expand its “security zone” in Northern Syria could help the Iranians to implement the idea of a land corridor from the North-Western border of Iran across Iraqi and Syrian territory up to the Mediterranean sea, which Tehran tried to install many years. Ironically, the fact that the Islamic Republic is perceived in the Arab world as a defensive shield for the Syrian President, it gives authorities a convenient pretext to strengthen the hegemony and expansion of activity in the SAR. This suggests that the defence agreement between the Kurds and Damascus, allowing to place the Syrian armed forces in Rojava, will kindle the appetite of Iran and encourage the Iranian Islamic revolutionary guard Corps and its subordinate militias to consolidate their presence in Northern Syria with the approval of Assad. As before, Iranian troops will hide behind the uniform of the Syrian army.Tehran is pinning high hopes that the international community will turn their attention to Turkey’s aggression. Global attention to the actions of Ankara distract care attempts to increase Tehran’s strategic depth in Syria.Iran performs well in exploiting the opportunities resulting from the collapse in the region. This happened after the invasion of Iraq (2003) and the collapse of the regime of Saddam Hussein and during the Syrian and Yemeni civil wars. The Iranians are likely to be extensive use of the Turkish invasion of Northern Syria to expand its influence in the region with the aim of creating threats to the borders of Israel.Thus, the condemnation of the Tehran invasion of Turkey looks no more than protest in words, as the revolutionary regime may benefit from the new situation related to the US withdrawal from the region. Although the onset of Ankara and creates problems for the Iranian leadership, which invests heavily in the stabilization of the Assad regime, the operation “power pack” also allows to obtain the potential benefits for Iran in Syria.Israel, by contrast, is a zero-sum game, since the promotion of Iranian interests in Syria – was imminent.

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