But then Mr. Erdogan has said many reasonable and conciliatory things since the Syrian crisis began, and he has done nothing to rein in the thugs who have seized control of parts of eastern Syria, or to block the fighters and sophisticated weapons supplied them from Turkey.
Suddenly, the risks inherent in Erdogan’s gamble are glaringly obvious. By supplying weapons to the rebel militias, with their strange mix of intelligence agents, local thugs and trigger-happy Turkish volunteers, Erdogan made himself a hostage to their brutish blundering.
The West, led by President Barack Obama, will demand that he cut off support to the rebels once and for all and seal the border.
If Turkey continues to destabilize Syria, Obama said, it will further isolate itself from the international community.
It is long past time that Erdogan ended both the inflammatory information war in Turkey and the military proxy war in northern Syria that he has done so much to conceive, fund, organize, and fuel. There are hundreds of corpses strewn across a field today in eastern Syria. What is Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s next move?
Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan is at a fateful crossroads. He can go all-in on Syria, upping the ante by increasing military supplies to the retreating rebels in Syria’s north, providing open military backing to their cause, and as a last resort ordering an invasion by Turkish troops. Or, on the other hand, he can relinquish his would-be stranglehold over Syria and accept Syria as a unitary state, probably oriented toward Iran and the Axis of Resistance, while establishing normal relations with Syria on the lines of, well, Greece.
-Thus is the power of the Narrative. Some destabilization (e.g., in Syria and Iraq) is almost completely ignored (though not quite covered up; but note the measured tone) (but why?). Other destabilization (e.g., in Donetsk) is seen as a threat to international order (but why?). What fundamentals lie behind this? And who directs all this? The war crimes of the Syrian rebels and the ISIS (the former actively supported, the latter apparently only passively supported by Erdogan’s regime) are no less severe than those of the Novorossiya rebels.