21:32 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Rebel fighters fire a heavy machine gun during clashes with Syrian pro-government forces on the frontline facing Deir al-Zoghb, a government-held area in the northwestern Idlib province, on August 31, 2015

    Battlefield Syria: Turkey, Qatar Have Zero Chance of 'Toppling' Assad

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    Ankara and Doha remain determined to topple Bashar al-Assad by supporting Islamic radicals but their efforts to project power beyond their borders will come to nothing, particularly after Russia launched its anti-ISIL campaign in Syria, analysts Giorgio Cafiero and Daniel Wagner wrote for the National Interest.

    "Although Turkey's shared border with Syria and Qatar's deep pockets provide the two nations much potential to prolong insurgencies against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies, it appears unrealistic to imagine Ankara and Doha achieving their objective of toppling the Syrian regime through their current strategies," they noted.

    Despite support that regional donors provide to ISIL, al-Nusra Front and the like, they have been unable to match Damascus-led forces. The Syrian Army, according to the experts, remains the most potent force in the country and this state of affairs is unlikely to change under current conditions.

    "Indeed, Ankara and Doha's roles in the conflict have been dwarfed by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah's military intervention against the regime's enemies," the experts observed.

    A multifunctional fighter-bomber Su-34 of the Russian Aerospace Forces lands at Hemeimeem air base in Syria
    © Sputnik / Alexander Astafyev
    A multifunctional fighter-bomber Su-34 of the Russian Aerospace Forces lands at Hemeimeem air base in Syria

    Meanwhile, backing extremists in the region has backfired complicating Turkey and Qatar's relations with their allies, trade partners and neighbors.

    "By sponsoring Sunni Islamist causes in Egypt, Gaza, Libya, Syria and Tunisia, Ankara and Doha came under harsh condemnation from other powers in the region. Many quickly accused Turkey and Qatar of stoking sectarian unrest and promoting extremism," Cafiero and Wagner added.

    Since Turkey and Qatar's strategy in Syria has failed, both countries should opt for a more realistic foreign policy in Syria, the analysts maintain.

    "Rather than devoting such substantial resources to arming jihadist militias in Syria, the region could benefit a great deal from Ankara and Doha channeling their resources toward humanitarian efforts aimed at meeting the basic needs of the conflict's innocent victims, while working with the international community to pursue a diplomatic settlement to the conflict and enhancing their own soft power in the process," Cafiero and Wagner concluded.

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    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)

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    Daesh, Russian aerial campaign, Islamic extremism, radical Islam, Syrian conflict, Al-Nusra Front, Turkey, Syria, Qatar
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