Russian and Turkish military leadership discuss the Syrian conflict


Yesterday, negotiations were held between Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov and his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Ankar.

Restoring relations

These were the first such talks in the past year since November 2015, when the Turkish military, presumably having ties to the Gulenist terrorist organization, shot down a Russian aircraft. It is significant that military talks have resumed immediately at a high level and, moreover, unexpectedly.

Synchronization of action in Syria

It is reported that the meeting discussed further developing operations in Syria. The Russian and Turkish sides confirmed "further cooperation between the defense ministries of the two countries", according to the Ministry of Defense of Russia.

The day before, Turkey abandoned its plan to advance deeper into Syria after Russia issued statements in which Moscow expressed concern over the situation. The document, issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry, said: “we draw attention to the fact that these actions are carried out without the consent of the legitimate Syrian authorities and without the approval of the UN Security Council."

In addition, Russia urged Ankara to refrain from this operation: "We call on Ankara to put these tasks (establishing peace) above short-term military-tactical purposes and refrain from any steps that might lead to increased destabilization of the situation in the SAR."

The Kurdish factor and the US

The Turkish president’s representative, Ibrahim Kalin, said that Turkey’s refusal to support the US offensive is explained by Washington’s support for Kurdish formations. "What should be Turkey’s response if the US urges us to fight against ISIS together with Syrian Kurds’s Democratic Union Party,” he said, continuing that "at the moment we do not have a military plan for Raqqa." However, it is most likely that Turkey would not dare spoil relations with Russia again.