If U.S. policymakers are hoping Turkey will become a vassal for U.S. interests in the region, then they will continue to wait in vain.

Michael Arnold14 June 2019

In September of last year, Turkey and Russia reached a tentative agreement to avoid a Russian-backed, regime-led offensive in Idlib, Syria’s last major bastion of rebellion. Since late April, that agreement has been threatened by renewed aggression from the Syrian regime backed by Russian air power. As of yet, all public indications by the interested parties indicate that the offensive is designed to achieve limited objectives. Although it remains to be seen if the agreement and limited objectives will hold, a complete ceasefire reportedly brokered by Russia and Turkey seems to confirm this assumption.

There are various reasons for why the offensive was briefly renewed when it was. From the Syrian regime’s perspective, it seems as though the strikes were a part of a push to take full control of the strategic M4 and M5 highways, which could allow for the resumption of the transit of goods from the Turkish to the Jordanian border.

*This article was originally published on The National Interest

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