Putin, Erdogan Seek to Mend Ties With Moscow Summit on Syria

Leaders try to reconcile conflicting Syria agendas

After massive Turkish attacks on Syrian forces in Idlib Province, Turkey’s President Erdogan and Russia’s President Putin will meet Thursday in Moscow in a very high-profile summit with big consequences for the Syrian War.

Turkey and Russia made repeated deals in the past over Idlib Province, and Russia approves of Syria recovering the territory from al-Qaeda. Turkey has a  big problem with Syria recovering the territory from al-Qaeda, and has been vowing to expel Syria militarily from that province and some nearby areas.

As a practical matter, Syria can overrun al-Qaeda’s forces with relative ease at this point, but not if Turkey invades. Turkey, on the other hand, believes it can overrun north Syria with little resistance, but that’s only true if Russia stays out of it.

These two nations have major differences in their vision of future Syria, and the summit aims to reconcile them in some mutually agreeable way. If the talks go poorly, as other recent talks have, it risks Turkey and Russia fighting directly.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.