Russia to Salvage US Mess

It’s going to be a precarious balancing act, but only one nation can possibly help bring stability to the chaos unleashed in Syria by US President Donald Trump. That’s Russia.

Reports of a deal brokered over the weekend by Russia between Syrian government forces and Kurdish militia are a prelude to a wider effort by Moscow to achieve full peace in the war-torn country. That constructive role played by Russia is no doubt due to the mutual respect it holds among warring sides.

The deal brokered by Russia will allow the Syrian Arab Army to take over control of northern border areas with Turkey which were formerly under the control of the Kurds. Since Trump threw the Kurds under the bus last week and effectively green-lighted the incursion into Syria by Turkish forces, the Kurds have had to subsequently align with the Syrian government. Russia was crucial to facilitating the new alliance.

With the Kurdish areas returning to the control of the central government in Damascus – after five years of US-backed Kurdish occupation – that arrangement of a fully integrated Syrian territory is not just legally proper. It also could placate Turkey’s long-held demands for security regarding Kurdish militants, whom Ankara accuses of being “terrorists” trying to destabilise Turkey.

Russia and Iran have in recent days both warned Turkey to respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. With the Russian-backed Syrian army on the border facing Turk forces, it is a fair…

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