The Turkish attack on Afrin leveraged only Russia’s position. Turkey was seeking for a card to play in negotiations, while Russia found the attack on Afrin the golden opportunity to divert the enemies, thus to dig a trench between Turkey and the U.S., as well as between the Kurds and the U.S. Furthermore, Russia intended to get its enemies busy far from the Southern and Eastern Front in Syria. Keep the enemies busy with each other at war is not a new method Russia uses, it used it in Lebanon under Assad’s banner.

Assessing Afrin Part I: Russia forced US to negotiate to Russia’s conditions

Not only did Turkey lose but Russia was very smart, it is forcing the U.S. to negotiate to its conditions. Why? Afrin’s timeline and my analysis revealed since the beginning Russia’s agenda: It wanted to drag the U.S. in a war and break the SDF-U.S. alliance. Militarily, the clear greatest loser in the Afrin war is Turkey, eventually compensated economically through the Turkish and other pipelines and naval territory, but the defense future of Turkey looks dull. Morally the NATO’s reputation is stained due to Turkey’s crimes and its passivity. And as I wrote since weeks: Afrin will go back to Russia and in the future gradually the SDF regions because the U.S. cant remain in Syria without negotiating with Russia. The U.S. is fully sandwiched and can’t even contain Turkey, which is acting as Russian proxy. It is true that the U.S.-SDF hold the oil and gas richest region in Syria, but they are strategically cut out, no infrastructure, what is the use of a gold mine which you can’t exploit? Russia has a plan of take over of the Middle East and Turkey fulfilled it by forcing the U.S. to negotiate to Russia’s conditions thanks to NATO Turkey.

Assessing Afrin Part II: KRG’s fall to Russia-Iran led Turkey to follow suit and attack Afrin

Losing KRG to Russia made US weaker in SDF regions. Turkey saw that US can’t take over and control the area and its infrastructure, the U.S. has no territory beside the SDF regions, thus all governments stood with Russia, which is connecting the region under its control. Other countries’ economic interests and trade routes are under Russia’s control, not U.S.’ control, so why would they stand with U.S. and fight? It is true that they are short-visioned but that’s how the governments in this region act, they think kicking out the U.S. will let them carry on with their business even if under Russia’s control. They do not think about future threats coming from Russia. This is the Middle East.

Joumana Gebara ~ Senior Middle East Analyst