Turkey’s claim that Russia is failing to comply with the safe-zone agreement demands and threats to resume a military operation in northeastern Syria were a ‘misunderstanding’, Ankara says.
On November 20, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov revealed Turkey informed Russia’s ambassador in Ankara that there was no talk of a resumption of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring.
Lavrov said that the withdrawal of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) has been “practically completed,” adding: “There are maybe some individual areas where this matter still needs to be finished.”
Lavrov recalled that the YPG must engage in direct dialogue with the Assad government in order to settle the conflict via political means and further.
The Turksih claim that the statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and other officials were just a kind of misunderstanding doesn’t hold up against criticism.
“If we do not obtain a result, we will do what is necessary, just as we launched the operation after trying with the U.S.,” Cavusoglu stated on November 18 after accusing Washington and Moscow of failing to comply with their responsibilities in the framework of the de-escalation agreements. This does not look like a ‘mistake’.
Most likely, the real reason why Ankara withdrew its threats is that Cavusoglu’s remarks have revealed the real Turkish stance on Kurdish issues and northern Syria too early. Thus, Anakra revealed its real policy towards the region in the situation when Russia stil had a freedom of freedom of maneuver.. So, it had to rush to retract the statement. However, this does not mean that the Turksih policy has somehow changed.