Breaking- Russia Provides Turkey with Needed “Justification” to Back Down from S-400 Deal While Saving Face!

Under tremendous economic and political pressure, Turkey ponders using the latest Russia-Syria offensives in Idlib as an excuse (aka justification) to back down from its S-400 deal with Russia.

In the last few days Syrian and allied Russian warplanes have intensified bombardment of Syria's Idlib province, sending tens of thousands of Syrian residents fleeing toward the border with Turkey. Syrian government forces, supported by Russia, are preparing to take over Idlib- the last area in Syria under the control of anti-Assad rebels.

The latest airstrikes directly challenge the pact between the Russian and Turkish presidents last September geared to prevent all-out conflict in the region. In fact, this may very well mean the complete breakdown of the Russian-Turkish agreement that has been in place since October 2018, which calls for a 14km long demilitarized zone in Idlib.

These developments may very well serve the current government in Turkey with the desperately needed excuse (aka justification) to back out of its highly contentious S-400 deal with Russia. Despite all pressure, political and economic, from the U.S. and NATO, Turkey has been maintaining its defiance on the subject, even though lately this has been more about saving face and approval of its support-base, while looking for ways to regain the West’s approval.

The current AKP administration has been feeling the intense heat on the economic front. There is fear of  the removal of Turkey’s exemption waiver from the US Iran sanctions. With its Saudi relations souring, Iraq and Iran have become Turkey’s main oil suppliers and trade partners. There is Turkey’s intensifying foreign-debt and currency crisis. There is the worsening unemployment crisis.

To top all this there is the escalation of political crises coming to the boiling point with the recent local elections. Emboldened by the unquestioning public support after the attempted coup in 2016, the current administration, AKP, has been ramping up its authoritarian practices against any and all voices of dissent - from progressives to Kurds, from journalists to human rights activists.

After annulling the mayoral election result in Istanbul, Turkey, the election court has set June 23, 2019, for the new mayoral election in Istanbul. The unprecedented election cancellation has already triggered a new wave of protests. The political uncertainty with the prospect of escalating protests has slid Turkey toward further currency crisis with the Lira tumbling significantly. Add to that the worsening relations between the US and Turkey, the prospect of sanctions on Turkey over Iran, escalating tensions over Turkey and East Mediterranean drilling, and the souring relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia-UAE, and the further deepening Turkey-Kurdish conflict, … We are looking at a government in desperation mode, and with that enter the new Russia-Syrian government operations in Idlib as a desperately sought catalyst (excuse) for Turkey to switch gears, with the hope of saving face while doing so.

Turkey is likely to utilize the recent Russian airstrikes in Northwest Syria as an excuse to back down from its S-400 commitment, and cozy-up to the west (US and NATO) in hope of receiving economic support and mediation over the Mediterranean drill dispute. In fact, as I am typing this article the NATO Chief is in Turkey meeting with President Erdogan- I suspect some sucking-up is already in motion. Meanwhile we’ll be waiting for some tough-talk followed by rash moves from Turkey in response to Russia’s recent Syria moves- and with that, S-400 No More.

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Sibel Edmonds is editor and publisher of Newsbud, founder and president of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), and author of the acclaimed book Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story, and The Lone Gladio, a Political Spy Thriller. She has appeared on national radio and TV as a commentator on matters related to whistleblowers, national security, and excessive secrecy & classification. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award. Ms. Edmonds is a certified linguist, fluent in four languages, and has an MA in public policy from George Mason University and a BA in criminal justice and psychology from George Washington University.

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Comments

  1. Walid Hammami says:

    That’s good news! The S-400 waiting list is getting too long for the moment and am sure the Russians will use the already built S-400 to leverage some demands from India, China and Iran.
    The Russian standing is improving by the day.
    Other winners here are going to be Iran, Syria and definitly the Kurds since there is no need to cater for the Turks interest.
    Terrorists will be wiped out from Syria soon. This is getting better by the day.
    Unfortunatly the Turks are going to be on the losing side again.

  2. Robert Diggins says:

    Maybe it’s related to the election re-do. I’m starting to see a theme here, with coup plotters being protected by the governments they failed to take. See Pye’s piece on Maduro protecting the USA’s man, and Sibel’s last piece about the Gulenists still safe in Erdogan’s government.

    Both coup attempts ultimately orchestrated by the USA/NATO.

    Just a haphazard hunch.

    • Timur Aydin says:

      There is no Turkish equivalent of Guaido in Turkey. Members of all ranks in the Fethullah movement are arrested left and right, and there is no reaction from the USA. Even USA consulate personnel was arrested, and Osman Kavala, a very high profile agent of the USA that kicked off and orchestrated the “Gezi” uprising was arrested, and the only reaction was the usual “we are worried about what’s going on in Turkey”.

      The biggest reaction that the USA gave was for Turkey keeping pastor Brunson under arrest for several years. And that reaction was just the threat of economic sanctions, still no concrete steps towards Turkey.

  3. Timur Aydin says:

    Turkey cannot end the S400 deal. It is being besieged from NATO (ironic, but the truth is, Turkey’s NATO membership has always been on paper only) from all sides. USA is looking to build a military base in south Cyprus and and is engaging all NATO countries to counter Turkey. USA is pushing for more conflict between Greece and Turkey. USA is supporting YPG in northern Syria.

    If Turkey gives up buying S400, the above siege will not stop, it will continue relentlessly. This means, Turkey is better off having the S400 systems to protect itself when hell breaks loose soon.

    • I agree with you, Timur. But the question: will it bend over under the current econ pressure and think short term? With the current econ-Currency crises, feeling caged, they may make irrational knee-jerk decisions. I hope it won’t.

      • Timur Aydin says:

        Yes, that is always a possibility … which hopefully won’t happen. After all, a few years ago, who would have foreseen that we would shoot down a Russian warplane? 🙂 But it happened, because it came out that most of our military wasn’t really working for us. There are still remnants of FETO everywhere, and who knows what kind of false flag operation they can come up with.

        Giving up the S400 deal would also be a disaster for Turkey’s credibility … We are already being criticised for having changed alliances from NATO towards east. If we make a change of alliance again, Turkey will be considered a country that cannot be trusted with, and that can change against you on a whim …

        • This is what I refer to as: “Yo-Yo politics” from double-Talk to changing positions. For me that even applies to Turkey EU candidacy- why? For what advantage? Especially considering the current EU turmoil.

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