Putin Planning “Deal Of The Century” Between Syria & Turkey As US Exits

Putin Planning “Deal Of The Century” Between Syria & Turkey As US Exits from ZeroHedge

Lebanese Arabic news broadcaster Al-Mayadeen is reporting that Russia has begun organizing “reconciliation talks” between Syria and Turkey, in what would be an unprecedented development, given President Erdogan’s position has long been that Turkey won’t negotiate with Damascus so long as Assad is in power.

The Middle East broadcaster cited Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said, “Moscow will ask for start of talks between Damascus and Ankara”.

Russia’s TASS has also confirmed the initiative, making it the first significant attempt to bring the two sides to the table, given Ankara severed diplomatic ties with Damascus in 2012. Turkey could indeed be ready given it has finally gotten its way in Syria with a long planned attack on Syrian Kurds along the border in northern Syria, which began Wednesday with an air and ground offensive.

Previously Ankara had signaled that it would only engage Damascus if it led to Assad being removed from office. But with US troops now largely out of the way, and with Trump signalling that he wants to ultimately bring them all home and let regional powers sort out the aftermath, including the threat of ISIS prisoners in northeast Syria, the final deal-makers that remain are Putin and Erdogan.

“We will be pressing for the beginning of a dialogue between Turkey and Syria. There are reasons to believe that this will meet the interests of both countries. Also, we will be promoting contacts between Damascus and Kurdish organizations that renounce extremism and terrorist methods of activity,” Lavrov said.

“We’ve heard Syrian officials and Kurdish organizations’ representatives say they are interested in Russia using its good relations with all parties to this process for assistance in establishing such a dialogue. We’ll see how to go about this business,” the Russian foreign minister added.

And in a report on Thursday as a ground battle rages between YPG/SDF forces and Turkish-backed proxy ‘rebels’ – backed also by Turkish troops – The Guardian also took note of a potential Putin “deal of the century” to end the war in Syria while ensuring American retreat:

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