The move is a diplomatic victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin and a big snub to the United States.
In a seismic shift in the alignment in the Syria conflict, Turkey has confirmed it is ending support to anti-government forces in Syria. Additionally, the umbrella political group National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces is to have its recognition from Ankara withdrawn.
This represents Turkey’s position on Syria going full circle since Ankara entered the conflict in the year 2012.
Prior to 2012, Turkey and Syria enjoyed normal relations. As part of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s pivot to the Arab world, a policy some had called neo-Ottomanism, Ankara increasingly saw itself as a key king-maker in Arab affairs, in spite of the fact that few Arab countries sought Turkey’s alliance with the exception of Qatar. In this sense, Turkey’s move to support anti-government forces in Syria was more about opportunism than ideology. Although Erdogan had since his early political career advocated for what many call a Muslim Brotherhood style of Islamist politics, this had never previously prohibited him from having normal relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad prior to 2011.
Put another way, Turkey wanted to join the winning side and until Russia’s intervention in Syria at the behest of the Syrian government, many speculated that various anti-government forces which were heavily backed by Barack Obama’s government, would win.
Russia’s intervention combined with the incredible endurance and steadfast patriotism of the Syrian Arab Army has changed this and now both conventional wisdom and battlefield intelligence would point to a victory for the legitimate forces in Syria. ...
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