google-site-verification=cXrcMGa94PjI5BEhkIFIyc9eZiIwZzNJc4mTXSXtGRM Syria, Russia and Türkiye – an uneasy alliance changing world politics - 360WISE MEDIA
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Syria, Russia and Türkiye – an uneasy alliance changing world politics

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The end of the crisis in Aleppo i Syrian ceasefire created an unlikely alliance. Relations between Russia, Turkey and Syria are crucial not just for the Middle East, but additionally for global geopolitics.

The leaders of all three countries – Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bashar al-Assad – unexpectedly rose to prominence around the identical time, accompanied by a certain level of optimism. But over the past 16 years, they’ve joined a growing club of populist and authoritarian leaders.

Vladimir Putin first became president of Russia in 2000 – young, energetic and promising to lift Russia from the ashes of the fallen Soviet Union.

Erdogan rose to prominence in 2003 after a severe economic crisis elevated him to the position of prime minister of Turkey, carrying with him the hopes of the Turkish people. His first two terms of presidency were marked by attempts to affix the European Union, liberal reforms and economic growth.

Bashar al-Assad succeeded his dictatorial father in 2000. His older brother, who was expected to take over the presidency, died in a automobile accident in 1994. His youth and Western education seemed that he would make Syria more liberal and democratic. However, behind a friendly and liberal façade, Assad continued to run a police state.

During this time, Erdogan developed a private friendship with Assad. Erdogan invited him on vacation to Turkey, calling him “my brother Assad.”

By 2010, Turkey was heralded as a model country where democracy and Islam coexist. Encouraged by his political success and growing popularity within the Arab world, Erdogan began to indicate ambitions for leadership within the Muslim world. It began to emulate EU-style policies, establishing visa-free travel and economic partnerships with other Muslim countries, starting with Syria and Lebanon.

Between 2004 and 2011, Putin also intensified Russia’s relations with Syria at a vital moment through the invasion of Iraq by the United States and the international coalition. By 2011, Iraq was destabilized and polarized along Sunni-Shia sectarian lines.

Dissatisfied with growing U.S. and Western influence over Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Putin increased Russia’s presence in Syria by developing and enlarging its naval base in Tartus and strengthened his ties with Assad.

Then he got here Arab Spring from 2011.

The strategy for Putin was clear: support the Assad regime and then challenge Western domination not only of the Middle East but additionally of the geopolitical world order. At the identical time, it could be a convenient distraction growing unrest and protests within the country and Russian aggression in places like Georgia.

During Civil war in SyriaPutin has grow to be the guardian of the Shiite alliance between Iran, Syria and Shiite political forces in Iraq and Lebanon.

For Erdogan, the Arab Spring meant an acceleration in his ambition to realize leadership within the Sunni world. His “brother Assad” became enemy primary because a possible Islamist takeover of Syria fit his leadership vision higher than the Shiite and secular nature of the Assad regime. Erdogan has actively supported plenty of Syrian opposition groups through his logistical presence in Turkey and constant flow of resources.

For Erdogan, being anti-Assad also meant being anti-Russian – until 4 of Erdogan’s ministers were hit serious corruption allegations in 2013. In response, Erdogan selected the trail of authoritarianism, purging and firing members of the police and judiciary liable for investigating corruption.

The narrative was easy: foreign powers (i.e. the West) didn’t want Turkey’s growing influence within the region, so that they cooperated with domestic forces to overthrow the federal government. Most importantly, this stance signaled Erdogan’s departure from the Western bloc.

Erdogan’s relationship with Putin reached a brand new low in 2015 when the Turkish military shot down a Russian fighter jet in Syria. Putin responded with economic sanctions and promoted an international offer label the Erdogan government as lively supporters of the Islamic State (IS).

However, an alliance with Russia was essential for Erdogan as he slowly left the Western bloc. In June 2016, Erdogan apologized to Putin and the 2 men quickly reached an agreement that included a partnership in managing the Syrian conflict.

Erdogan’s inconsistent foreign policy and growing authoritarianism have been met with aggression coup attempt in July 2016, Erdogan survived the ordeal and declared that it was “God’s gift” to cleanse the military and state of dissidents.

The result was the purge of hundreds of presidency staff, the seizure of billion-dollar businesses, and the imprisonment of greater than 120 journalists. That meant Türkiye jails more journalists than every other country.

Erdogan quickly dragged the Turkish army into the Syrian conflict, signaling that he was a player in Syria and the region. This was an unimaginable act without the Russian alliance. And an alliance with Putin in Syria means support for Assad when the boomerang in Erdogan’s relations returns to “my brother Assad” mode.

The fall of Aleppo and the ceasefire appear to be a victory for Putin, Erdogan and Assad, a minimum of within the short term. For Assad, just being on the international negotiating table is a victory. But even when he regains control over Syriacan have to fight an extended battle against the Islamic State, much like the continuing battles against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Putin will use his growing influence within the Middle East to weaken Western political and economic influence within the world. He will use his relationship with Erdogan’s Turkey to weaken NATO and make it irrelevant in the brand new world order or the disorder of populist leaders.

Most interestingly, Erdogan will claim that because the Sunni representative of the three, he brought peace to Syria. His brave efforts change the structure of Turkey the introduction of an executive presidential system during a state of emergency can only be understood when it comes to his strong desire to guide the Muslim world. He wants uninterrupted rule without critical dissent and political challenges in order that he can direct all his energy towards the greater Middle East.

As IS leader Abu-Bakr Baghdadi’s caliphate concoction fades, the world could have to come back to terms with Erdogan’s caliphate in 2017, the five hundredth anniversary of the Ottoman takeover of the caliphate from Egypt in 1517.

If Erdogan takes this step, it’s going to throw the region and the world into uncharted territory.

This article was originally published on : theconversation.com
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International

The chilling consequences of attempts to report on the Israel-Gaza war

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Enter Azaiza, Hind Khoudary AND Even Owda these are all Palestinian journalists who reported on the war in Gaza. And although Azaiza had to leave and now reports from afar, Owda and Khoudary still remain in Gaza. They, together with several others, provide vital details about the devastation Palestinians face day by day.

This is something that many Canadian journalists haven’t been able to do, largely because international journalists should not allowed into Gaza except on controlled trips organized by the Israel Defense Forces. Therefore, Palestinian journalists are a critical source of information.

This collage features (from left to right) Hind Khoudary, Motaz Azaiza and Bisan Owda, three Palestinian journalists who’ve been reporting on the war in Gaza since October 7, giving the world a window into the devastation. Azaiza has left Gaza and is now reporting from afar, while Owda and Khoudary remain in Gaza.
@hindkhoudary, @motaz_azaiza, @wizard_bisan1/Instagram

However, the stories they tell should not picked up by most Western news outlets.

Many Western journalists have spoken out against what they imagine is the suppression of Palestinian voices and views of their newsrooms. According to a report published in February, many CNN employees believed the media giant had a pro-Israel bias. . According to CNN reporters, Palestinian sources were often met with skepticism, while Israeli sources were often accepted at face value. Others accused the network of censoring journalists who wanted to include more Palestinian sources.

Were similar accusations from inside and other major news outlets.

Christiane Amanpour will appear on the April 8 episode of “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart to discuss the U.S.’ sensitive treatment of Israel, including journalists, and the need for strong political leadership in the Middle East.

These allegations raise many questions.

What is the role of the news media in reporting on wars and conflicts in other countries?

Who is a reliable source? What is independent and objective journalism – and does it exist in any respect?

These are the questions from Sonya Fatah and Asmaa Malik, our guests on this episode , I spent lots of time pondering and writing about. They are each professors of journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University, and their research focuses on newsroom culture, global reporting practices and equality in journalism. They are co-authors of the latest article in detailing press freedom concerns they imagine extend far beyond Gaza.

“The profound injustice that is happening is that the work (of Palestinian journalists on the ground) is not being strengthened,” Malik says. “News organizations can amplify these voices, but also amplify them, add to them and bring a human perspective to this cold, clinical concept of ‘objectivity’ and reporting as we understand it.”

Adds Fatah: “Instead of hugging them, instead of standing up and saying that this is a huge crisis and that we support it, there was silence.”

Resources

Even Owda, Hind Khoudary, Enter Azaiza & Plestia Alaqad on Instagram

“Attacks on press freedom have chilling effects far beyond Gaza.” (, January 30, 2024, by Asmaa Malik and Sonya Fatah)

“New York Times to Journalists: What Can’t Be Said About the Gaza War” (April 15, 2024, Jeremy Scahill, Ryan Grim)

“The fight for honest reporting from Palestine” (April 10, 2024 by Zahraa Al-Akhrass)

What Christiane Amanpour – and the rest of us – can learn from Palestinian journalists in Gaza” (April 16, 2024, Steven W. Thrasher)

(Edward Said, 1979)

“New York Times Covers Hamas Attack Stories” (NPR, March 6, 2024)

The head of the New York Times is trying to stop leaks about reporting from the Gaza Strip” (April 18, 2024)

Listen and follow

You can listen or follow ON Apple Podcasts (transcripts available), Spotify, Youtube or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

We’d love to hear from you, including any ideas for future episodes.

Join the conversation on Instagram, X, LinkedIn and use #DontCallMeResilient.

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This article was originally published on : theconversation.com
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Amid rising tensions in the Middle East, Oman is a key feedback channel between Iran and the United States

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Before activation of the firewall drones and missiles on Israel on April 13, 2024, based on reports from Iran I got a message for Washington that its response to the earlier attack on the embassy compound in Syria could be aimed toward avoiding a serious escalation. The message was transmitted via Oman, a Persian Gulf state.

The current crisis in the Middle East is one which officials in Oman have been attempting to avoid for years. It is positioned across the Strait of Hormuz from Iran and close defense and security ties with the US and the UK Oman is aware that tit-for-tat attacks increase the risk of a wider war engulfing countries and armed non-state groups across the region.

A full-scale war may very well be triggered by further escalation actions through Tehran or Jerusalem. But this may occur too as a results of miscalculation or misunderstandingespecially given the lack of official bilateral channels for dialogue and de-escalation.

This is where Oman comes in. The Gulf state has been doing this for years he quietly built a record of achievements easing regional tensions through diplomacy. It has played this role since the October 7 Hamas attack. In the months since the attack and Israel’s response in Gaza, which have ignited a regional crisis, Oman has maintained its leadership position. high-level dialogue with Iran, hosted by British Foreign Minister David Cameron to talks on security in the Red Sea and called ceasefire in Gaza.

He could now play a key role in keeping the channel of communication open between the U.S. and Iran as the sides seek to ease tensions.

Standing out from regional competition

Together with neighbors Qatar and Kuwait – in addition to Switzerland, which it represents US interests in Iran in the absence of an American embassy – Oman played a key role in back-channel diplomacy.

However, Oman’s approach differs from that of other nations. Instead of participating in direct conversations, he creates a space for dialogue and service as a facilitator not a mediator.

Oman’s decision to act as moderator is as a result of many reasons. Unlike several other Gulf states similar to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Oman lacks a history of tense relations with Iran.

Omanis somewhat recall that Iran was under the rule of the Shah provided support to Oman in the Seventies, when the then young latest sultan of the Persian Gulf state, Qaboos bin Said, was fighting against ten-year rebellion in the southern province of Dhofar.

Even after the Shah was overthrown in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and replaced by a clerical regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini, Oman stood out from others in the region and refused to interact in the regional rivalries and competition for geopolitical influence that soured Iran’s ties with other Persian Gulf countries states.

Secret back channels

Representing a small country in an unstable region, Omani officials have created a diplomatic space that permits them to handle regional issues on their very own terms and in a way that plays to their strengths. As Sayyid Badr Albusaidi, a profession diplomat who became Oman’s minister of foreign affairs in 2020, said: we noted already in 2003“We are trying to use our intermediate position between larger powers to reduce the potential for conflict in our immediate neighborhood.”

Unlike Qatar, which has attracted worldwide attention on his role as a mediator in the Hamas-Israel negotiations, Oman is engaging less in mediation and more in making it easier.

This is a vital distinction that Omanis maintain in their interactions with U.S. and Iranian officials, but additionally Saudi and Houthi representatives during Yemen’s decade-long civil war.

Facilities in Oman take many forms. It may involve transmitting messages and maintaining indirect channels of communication between adversaries, or organizing feedback channels and organizing discreet meetings.

There is little publicity for Qatar’s mediation initiatives, similar to conversations with the Taliban, who prepared the 2020 report Doha Agreement regarding the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan.

But Oman’s approach should yield results. IN his memories“The Back Channel,” written after his retirement from the State Department and before his nomination as CIA director under President Joe Biden, William Burns detailed Oman’s role in facilitating communications between U.S. and Iranian officials in 2013 that changed into negotiations , which bore fruit Nuclear agreement with Iran from 2015.

This news channel began after Iranian officials passed a message to the U.S. through Oman in 2012, proposing a meeting in Muscat, the capital of the Gulf state.

Burns recalled that the Omani intelligence chief “greeted both delegations as we entered the conference room,” “said a few quick words of greeting, and then left.”

The news feed remained secret through eight rounds of generally constructive dialogue, which represented the longest and most sustained cooperation between Iranian and U.S. officials since 1979.

Host opponents

During the thaw between the US and Iran it didn’t lastan Omani news channel highlighted several aspects crucial to the success of any try and ease tensions between seemingly irreconcilable adversaries.

The trust that either side had in Omani officials was extremely essential, and the positive consequence of the meetings built confidence in either side’s use of Omani communication channels.

Oman’s role as a facilitator of indirect U.S.-Iran engagement has gained additional importance with Donald Trump’s presidency decision to withdraw The US left the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and failure the Biden administration to re-enter the agreement.

Seemingly the only time Oman was not willing to play this role was when tensions rose over the US the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani in January 2020 – was brought on by the critical illness of Sultan Qaboos. In the absence of Oman the Swiss ran the back channel.

Easing tensions

Amid heightened tensions since the Oct. 7 attack in Israel, Oman relayed messages between Iranian and U.S. officials. In January 2024, Omani officials hosted delegations of senior negotiators from each countries, transferring between representatives in separate rooms.

Even as a broader regional conflict emerged in the Middle East after Israel apparently bombed the Iranian embassy compound in Damascus on April 1, Oman was readily available to attempt to ease tensions.

April 7, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian visited Oman – providing Omani officials with a possibility to clarify to US and other Western officials about Iran’s pondering as Tehran she planned her response to attack in Damascus.

And while the current crisis in the Middle East is on a scale that Oman cannot deal with by itself, the ability of trusted intermediaries like Oman – together with Qatar and Switzerland – to maintain channels of communication open is crucial to minimizing the possibility of accidental escalation on the Iranian side and to enhance the American and European dialogue with Israeli leaders in pursuit of a peaceful solution to the conflict.

This article was originally published on : theconversation.com
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Will there be another devastating regional war after Iran’s attack on Israel?

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After almost two weeks of waiting, Tehran took revenge on Israel April 1, bomb attack on the consulate in Damascusin Syria, firing multiple waves of drones and cruise missiles towards Israel.

More than 300 weapons were reportedly fired from Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Iran alone, marking the primary time the Islamic Republic directly hit the territory of Israel.



Shortly after the attack began The Iranian government said it was overhowever the world is waiting to see how Israel and the United States will respond.

The current crisis

For greater than six months, Iran has tried to avoid direct involvement within the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. It has expressed support for Hamas while Hezbollah, Tehran’s fundamental ally within the region, has engaged in limited battles with Israel along Lebanon’s southern border.



The bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus resulted within the death of several high-ranking members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), including Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi — there was a major escalation of violence.

The bombing was characterised as a direct attack on territory of Iran by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, who promised severe revenge.

Since then, Israel, the United States and other Western countries have remained on high alert, preparing their armed forces to attack and, in some cases, evacuation of personnel from the region.

Emergency services work in a damaged constructing hit by an airstrike in Damascus, Syria, on April 1, 2024. An Israeli airstrike destroyed the consular section of the Iranian embassy in Damascus, killing or injuring everyone inside.
(AP Photo/Omar Sanadiki)

History of Tehran

Most observers before the April 13 attack he believed that Tehran’s response would be limitedperhaps even simply symbolic. They argued that Iran would likely not attack directly but would delegate the duty to certainly one of its regional allies, comparable to Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen or Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq.

This pondering was based on Iran’s past behavior. Tehran told each Hamas and Washington about this isn’t desirous about regional war. The last time Israel assassinated an IRGC officer, the response was limited to a rocket attack in Iraq that resulted within the death of: Kurdish businessman with alleged connections Down Israeli Mossad.

A more limited strike also appeared to make sense from a balance of power perspective. The Islamic Republic has a strong army, with huge supplies of drones and rockets able to hitting targets throughout Israel. The arsenal becomes much more impressive once you add the capabilities of Hezbollah and other Iranian allies.

However, the Islamic Republic he can be defenselessespecially against American or Israeli airstrikes.

The Iranian Air Force is in dire need of modernization and its surface-to-air missile defense is suspect. Perhaps more importantly, the regime continues to face significant opposition at home following the Mahsa Amini hijab protests. Its involvement within the Arab-Israeli conflict is questioned by a big a part of society.

Instead of getting a rally across the flag effect, a painful war on behalf of Hamas could spark further internal unrest.

Planes fly over large explosions
This photo, published in July on the official website of the Iranian army, shows the Iranian Air Force exercising within the central a part of the country.
(Iranian army via AP)

Iran escalation

So why did Iran break with precedent and expose itself to such risks?

The answer is twofold.

First, Tehran has to fret about its popularity. The regime’s latest response to the assassination of a senior IRGC official apparently did nothing to discourage Israel from killing another. Showing weakness within the face of enemy aggression undermines Iran’s position because the leader of the “Axis of Resistance,” a bunch of state and non-state actors centered in Iran that opposes Israel and the American presence within the region.



This is not only a matter of bragging. Tehran depends on this network for its defense, which suggests goals to spread chaos throughout the region to discourage an American or Israeli attack. The weapons and training it provides to its allies are at the center of this alliance, but when Tehran is afraid of confrontation with the Israelis, how can it ask its allies to accomplish that?

The second reason for Iran’s actions is internal. While supporting the Palestinians may not be popular with all residents, it will be significant to the inspiration of the regime. The ideology that justifies the Islamic Republic’s involvement within the Palestinian cause is the glue that holds the present regime together.

Iran’s ideology is characterised by great flexibility allowed Tehran to stay pragmatic faced with external challenges prior to now.

At some point, nevertheless, Tehran must live as much as its espoused virtues. If it doesn’t do that, it risks losing support amongst the general public and fueling internal fights among the many elites. Khamenei, who’s 84 years old and already attempting to manage delicacy succession processI am unable to afford it either.

Having it each ways

Tehran appears to be still attempting to avoid escalation and a bigger regional war.

A tweet sent by Iran after the attack seemed geared toward containing the crisis, claiming that “the matter can be considered he stated

As he speaks, a bearded man in a blue jacket and white collarless shirt gestures.
Coming to America? There were rumors that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, seen here on the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Switzerland in January 2024, was scheduled to reach within the United States ahead of the attack on Israel.
(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Even before the attack, there were rumors that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian was planning to travel to America through Iran’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations to assist manage the crisis.

However, it’s unclear how Tehran can maintain its ideological credentials at home and abroad without getting drawn into the war in Gaza. Some of the Iranian fire missed Israeli defenses, even though it caused little damage or fatalities.

From the standpoint of US President Joe Biden, this implies getting out of the best way. Despite swearing “shod in iron“support for Israel against Iran, According to reports, the Biden administration urged Israel to retaliate immediately and he stated The US doesn’t need a regional war.

However, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israeli government probably sees things otherwise. Regardless of the damage or lack thereof, Israel will do it I would like to take revenge. There can be widespread speculation that Israel decided this summer to launch an invasion of southern Lebanon by force. UN Resolution 1701 this calls on Hezbollah to withdraw 20 miles from the Lebanese-Israeli border.

The Lebanese powder keg

Even if this doesn’t occur, the situation on the border is getting dangerously worse.

Over 300 Lebanese civilians were killed in the world and roughly 90,000 were displaced. Five Israeli civilians killed and over 100,000 displaced.

The intensity of violence in the world has been increasing since January and appears to be gaining momentum whatever the fighting in Gaza.

If this happens, it should likely drag Israel, Hezbollah, and ultimately Iran back into another escalation spiral.


This article was originally published on : theconversation.com
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