01:18 GMT +322 July 2019
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    Turkish army tanks make their way towards the Syrian border town of Jarablus, Syria August 24, 2016. Picture taken August 24, 2016.

    Turkey's Operation in Syria: 'Benefits Both Russia, US'

    © REUTERS / Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office
    Middle East
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    Turkey's direct entrance into the Syrian military conflict is of benefit to both Russia and the US: the opening of a northern front creates an opportunity for the US-backed rebels to re-group, while their retreat from Aleppo left the city to the government forces, backed by Russia, according to France 24's specialist in jihadist movements.

    "Many were surprised that the US put up with Turkey's entrance into the Syrian game with its "Shield of the Euphrates" operation," says Wassim Nasr, France 24's specialist in jihadist movements.

    However he further explains that the US might have made some advance calculations: the jihadists were able to break through the government forces' encirclement of Aleppo shortly after the recent break-up of the former al-Nusra Front and before the Syrian army had the city under its full control.

    Therefore, the expert suggests there is a viable political project which exists in the north of Syria, and that is the jihadists' project.

    Meanwhile, the territory under the control of the so-called "moderate rebels" backed by the US is visibly dwindling.

    By opening a new frontline in the north of the country, near the city of Jarabulus and alongside the 90-kilometer Turkish-Syrian border, Turkey has drawn the "moderate" rebels out of Aleppo to Jarabulus, thus offering them a new action plan and diverting them from the jihadists, the expert explained.

    He further suggested that those are the exact people that the US could sit down at the negotiation table with, and this explains the US interest in Turkey's operation.

    In other words, the expert explains, the US has decided to put an end to the plan of supporting jihadists and get a new reliable partner who would be able to take part in negotiations.

    However the same very actions are also of benefit to Russia, he further claimed.

    "Let us not forget that before the assault in Jarabulus, President Erdogan met with President Putin while Joe Biden visited Turkey," he said.

    Hence Russia's interest, he said, is that the Turkish army has drawn the "moderate" rebels out of Aleppo to fight for Jarabulus, thus weakening the fighting in Aleppo. As a result, Damascus was able to take the city under its control.

    To sum it up, according to Wassim Nasr, Washington has an alternative to offer to what it considers the 'moderate'' opposition, while Moscow is benefiting from a weakened Aleppo.


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    moderate Syrian rebels, Operation Euphrates Shield, Daesh, Wassim Nasr, Turkey, Syria, United States, Russia, Aleppo
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