04:27 GMT17 February 2020
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    While Turkey has dreams to re-establish itself as the Ottoman Empire by grabbing Syrian territories, US warhawks are planning to balkanize Syria into different "buffer zones;" however, Moscow has upset both Washington and Ankara's applecart, Salman Rafi Sheikh remarks.

    Neither Washington, nor Ankara is interested in Moscow's successful completion of its military operation in Syria aimed at preserving the country's integrity and sovereignty.

    The downing of the Russian Su-24 by the Turkish Air Force and Washington's tacit approval of Ankara's actions following the treacherous attack was certainly a reflection of their anxiety over the Russo-Syrian advance, according to Salman Rafi Sheikh, a research-analyst of International Relations and for Pakistan's foreign and domestic affairs.

    "A strong state of Syria, purged of every type of terrorist organization, would be a threat to Turkey's un-real dream of re-enacting itself as Ottoman Empire in miniature. While this may be Turkey's vital interest vis-à-vis Syria, 'the West' has larger strategic objectives to achieve out of this conflict," Sheikh writes in his article for New Eastern Outlook.

    However, the "backstabbing" provocation did not work; it did not halt Russia's air campaign, but rather prompted its intensification. The US strategy to force a Russian military 'exodus' from Syria has failed and Washington is obviously not happy with it.

    "In fact, the US' priority is the prospect of an Anglo-American caucus emerging within the US-led coalition as its 'steel frame' so that things remain under control. Russia's induction, on the other hand, might altogether change the alchemy of the coalition, make it unwieldy and shut the door on any future prospect for NATO assuming the role of a peacemaker or peacekeeper in the Middle East," Sheikh elaborates.

    According to the analyst, the White House would prefer it if Russia was excluded from the future political settlement in Syria thus untying Washington's hands. However, it seems that the opposite might happen in near future.

    "With Russia all set to intensify its campaign with or without any coalition, the US and its allies seem to have unwittingly fallen a poor prey to what can better be called their folly of judgment," Sheikh concludes.


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    Middle East, NATO, air campaign, buffer zone, split, Islamic extremism, negotiations, peace plan, Jihadists, attack, territorial integrity, sovereignty, airstrike, Su-24, The Syrian war, Russian Air and Space Forces, Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Syria, United States, Russia, Ankara
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