Russian President Vladimir Putin last month proposed to the leadership of Syria and the countries of the region, including Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, to unite the efforts in the fight against the IS.
Turkey’s reaction to the proposal was negative. The spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Tanju Bilgich, said that the Russian proposal to create a broad front against the terrorist organization «Islamic State» (IS) with the participation of Syria was not on the agenda of Turkey.
«The international community has been fighting against the IS. Turkey is part of the international coalition, and provides concrete support to these efforts. There are no other plans on our agenda,» Bilgich told the reporters.
Natalya Ulchenko, Senior Researcher at the Center for the Study of the Middle East of the Institute of Oriental Studies, the Russian Academy of Sciences, believes that the fight against the IS would be much more effective in the case of a joint international coalition. At the same time, she adds that the potential coalition members have different interests in this project.
«With the creation of any coalition raises the question of whether the common interests will prevail or each side will try to achieve its own goals. In the case of Turkey, there are several controversial issues: the threat of IS, on the one hand, and the potential strengthening of the position of the Kurds, in the case of the common struggle against the IS, on the other,” says Ulchenko in her interview to “RUSARMINFO”. According to the expert, Turkey’s support of the Kurds against the IS may lead to the realization of the objectives of the Kurds against the same Turkey: the Kurds may have put forward their territorial claims to Turkey. In regards to Turkey’s fears that Moscow intends to strengthen the position of Syria in the region by consolidating common forces, Ulchenko notes that the strengthening of the position of Syria, is likely to be the final result of the consolidation against the IS than the original intent of the Russian and Syrian sides.
Note: The «Putin Plan» to establish a coalition to fight the IS was publicly presented by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. In Qatar, at the meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia’s Adel Al-Dzhubeyr, Lavrov told his colleagues the details of the plan of the Russian president to neutralize the Islamists. It is noteworthy that in this respect, a special role is preserved for the Syrian army and the Kurdish paramilitary units.