A new aggravation in relations between Russia and Turkey, associated with the Syrian Kurds, alarmed Western diplomats. They fear that countries move towards direct confrontation, the internationality of which is increasing all the time, and I suspect that Russia wants to discredit NATO, the Financial Times writes with reference to statements by Western officials.
“We think the same way as in the Baltic States, Russia wants to try to put pressure on NATO’s ability to support all its members,” the official said of the Alliance.
A senior European official, in turn, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking to undermine the position of his Turkish colleague Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Putin furious [action] Turkey. The situation is incredibly really serious,” he said.
Syrian Kurds supported Russia, USA and other Western countries, but Ankara considers them his enemies and condemns, as a partner banned in Turkey “Kurdistan workers party”, which has been fighting for the past three decades. For Turkey, Kurdish militants are bitter rivals of Sunni rebels in the Syrian conflict it supports.
The Russian air force strikes on border with Turkey the Syrian province of Aleppo have created an atmosphere of chaos, which took advantage of “people’s defence Units” (armed wing of the “Democratic Union” of the Syrian Kurds), writes TF. They were able to capture the town, previously controlled by rebels supported by Turkey and other countries of the Persian Gulf.
Last weekend Turkey started to fire at positions of the Syrian Kurds, who were nominated to its borders. On Monday the attacks of the Turkish army continued, despite charges from Moscow that called for the UN to condemn these attacks.
The Russian foreign Ministry stated that Turkey’s actions have affected the city, “only recently liberated from the terrorists,” the Syrian army and Kurdish fighters, and that as a result of the attacks of Turkey “were killed or injured civilians, destroyed infrastructure and residential buildings”.
Russia itself has been accused of attacks on a hospital in Aleppo. A UK-based Syrian monitoring centre for human rights said on 15 February that the strike on field hospital allegedly inflicted on Russian planes based in Syria. According to the center, the building is destroyed, killing and wounding “dozens” of people.
“Moscow strives to “translate arrows” on Ankara to emphasize the differences between Turkey and NATO,” writes the FT.