Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has commented on the December 27 statement of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accusing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of beeing a “terrorist”.
“Such evaluations do not have any legal basis… Such statements are groundless,” Zakharova said during a briefing on Thursday.
On December 27, Erdogan called Assad “definitely a terrorist who has carried out state terrorism” during a meeting with Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi. Erdogan argued that “it is impossible to continue with him[Assad]” and saud that Assad had allegedly killed about a million of Syrian citizens.
Erdogan’s statement is an example of the “complicated” alliance between Turkey and the Iranian-Russian-Iranian coalition over the crisis in Syria. On the one hand, the Erdogan regime is forced to coopearate with Damascus and its allies if it wants to achieve at least some positive results for its policy in the country. On the other hand, Erdogan wants to show that it is an independent actor in the conflict. Strategically, Turkey still prefers to establish an Islamist government in Damascus that would operate under de-facto supervision of the Erdogan regime.