The nearly 30-year-old occupation of Karabakh was resolved by a ceasefire and agreement with the initiative of Russia, after the 44-day operations of Azerbaijan. As the target in the Caucasus has been reached; Syria and Libya are expected to be at the top of Turkey’s agenda.
Turkey’s political and technical-military support, played a determining role in Karabakh victory. Azerbaijan liberated a significant part of territories that had been occupied by Armenia. A land connection was also established between Nakhchevan Autonomous Republic and Azerbaijan. This means Turkey’s direct territorial access to Azerbaijan, the Caspian Basin and Central Asia.
Syria and Libya can now be seen as the most challenging problems ahead:
Turkey has performed three successful massive military operations into Syria, prevented establishment of so-called Kurdish State and swiped ISIS from its borderline. Turkey restored the ordinary life in those regions, established security organization from local elements, opened schools and hospitals, and the life of the people returned to normal.
The YPG-PKK terrorist group which is armed and is protected by the US is continuing its terrorist activities in Syria and attempts to infiltrate into Turkey as well. In addition, Turkey is hosting 4 million Syrian refugees.
Solution without Iran?
Iran is a member of the Astana Troika, which was formulated to solve the Syrian issue. However, it is understood that the solution in Syria will be made without Iran, which has the largest military power in the country. The fact that Russia’s S-400 air defense system was not activated during the frequent Israeli air strikes targeting particularly the Iranian elements in Syria, exhibits Russia’s attitude. But what will happen to Esad? Once Russian demands are met, probably they will not care who is in power in Damascus. Turkey, on the other hand, is expected to insist on a solution without Esad. Similarly, Turkey will strongly oppose the formation of a Kurdish statelet or canton.
I think that a military operation will be carried out and then a negotiation table will be formed in Syria. Since none of the actors is Syria is expected to take part in negotiation table with the current status quo. Only the use of force will allow the table to be set up.
Here the question is whether Iranian elements on the ground will leave Syria or not: The elements brought by the Tehran regime to Syria from Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries to fight against Syrians, can be targeted in military operations. Iran’s official withdrawal from the country will be through persuasion!
Regarding Libya, a ceasefire was established at the meeting of the 5 + 5 Joint Military Committee in Geneva and the basis for the negotiation was established. However, especially with the encouragement of France, the UAE and Egypt, the attitude of the putschist General Haftar against the legitimate government of Tripoli, may break the ceasefire or block the negotiation process. Recently, the news that Haftar made military reinforcements to Sirte published in the media. A comprehensive military operation may be inevitable for Turkey.
These two countries are on top of Ankara’s agenda, which one will be first, I think we will see soon.