The Idlib issue is the end of the road. Moreover, it is the international community’s last chance to ensure regional order. Of course, the future of Turkey-Russia relations, which has been developing since 2018, is also dependent on this.
The wills presented with the desire to form deescalation zones that have been plunged into war shows how deep the problem is. It is crystal clear that the root of the problem is beyond humanitarian casualties, the violation of human rights, and a stubborn regime butchering its own people in a bid to continue its reign. Idlib, where the Syria issue has become a knot, is the last detour before World War III.
As a reminder to those who may think I am exaggerating: how will you explain the U.S., Russia, France, Germany and Turkey getting into great fights for a small piece of land other than World War III? What will you call this, while the arguments of the two great wars and the Cold War are still on the table? The country most affected by the problem is Turkey, while Russia forms a bloc – for now – the U.S. tries to reap the benefits without shouldering any of the responsibility like in previous wars, Germany and France’s joint shifts are stark reminders of what the world had experienced in both wars.
As the U.S., which claims to be a world power, watches from the sidelines, Turkey and Russia – as direct sides to the issue – along with Germany and France – two important wings of NATO – set to come together on March 5 shows that the problem has reached the final stage or a new one that is yet to be seen. We must accept that this summit, which will be held after some pressure from Turkey – but especially from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – is nothing like the wealthy club’s G7 meetings or the G20s, both of which are platforms for the rich and those who want to amass more wealth. It has a greater responsibility and its likely outcomes are much more significant.
The March 5 summit is either going to pave the way to world peace or pave the way toward the setting off the landmines that have been laid. Despite its significance, the experiences to this date also show that it will not be easy to attain any result from this – similar to the Berlin summit that was recently inflated as a glimmer of hope for Libya. However, the Syria issue no longer has the patience to be cooled off and metastasize over time any more than it already has. It is impossible for the U.S., Russia and Turkey’s military buildups in the region, the armed proxies acting on behalf of various countries and the Russia- and Iran-backed brazen regime to restrain themselves any further in such a tight space.
As long as this situation persists, it is also impossible to say who has the upper hand. As everyone is after achieving results, there is no doubt that they will disregard human values and emotions and choose the Machiavellian approach.
Teams that will prepare their chairpersons for March 5 have already started their psycho-history analyses. Advisers will bring neither the historical, cultural and co-religionship rule nor the security threat they are directly experiencing to their chairpersons. On the contrary, they will reiterate their own historical claims in Syria and their outcomes.
French advisers will say their operations in France’s Levant region (Syria-Lebanon) since the mid-19th century gave them the right to establish a mandate in the region until the end of World War II.
Germans will perhaps tell their Chancellor Angela Merkel the story of King William, who duped Otto von Bismarck and turned to world politics, and even of his visits to Syria and Palestine. They will remind Merkel of how they obtained their current power through the policy to expand to the East, despite being defeated in the war they joined with the Ottomans by their side, and thus feed her arrogance.
There will be no need for Russian President Vladimir Putin to listen to his advisers. He is already aware that their 500-century-old dreams came true after Napoleon Bonaparte’s expedition to Egypt – which was Ottoman territory at the time – and that, thanks to this, they were able to reach the Mediterranean bypassing the Ottomans.
While these facts are memorized even by the most ordinary history buff, those pressuring Turkey to punch the clock, those who want to impose defeat in advance by appearing to be against war have no significance. Especially while the world is invading your backyard, you do not have any luxury to watch from your ivory tower.
In brief, let’s try to summarize once more: if it can take place under all these psycho-history attacks, the world order will be put to the test once more on March 5, 2020; it will be revealed which will take precedence – peace or war.