Small Wars Journal

In Syria, Erdogan Brushes Up Against Limits of Pivoting to Putin

In Syria, Erdogan Brushes Up Against Limits of Pivoting to Putin by David Gauthier-Villars and Ann M. Simmons - Wall Street Journal

With mounting losses in Syria and no sign that Turkey’s Western allies are willing to provide significant military support, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is confronting the limits of his strategy of working with the Syrian government’s main backer, Russia.

Turkey said Friday that it retaliated against forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a day after at least 33 of its soldiers were killed by airstrikes in northwestern Syria.

Turkey blamed the casualties, which raised its losses to over 50 this month, on the Assad regime. The Russian Defense Ministry said its jet fighters, which control much of the Syrian sky and conduct most of the air raids against Turkish-backed rebels entrenched in Syria’s Idlib province, weren’t involved in Thursday’s clash.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mr. Erdogan spoke by phone Friday and agreed to organize a meeting to address the situation in Idlib, the Kremlin said…

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