Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has ambitions in Syria, Iraq and the Arab region and he is occupier

Dr. Haytham Mouzahem, head of Beirut Centre for Middle East Studies talks to Syria Times on the current situation in Syria and the Turkish aggressive military operations on Syrian territory and the implications for the region.

Turkey, especially its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has ambitions in Syria, Iraq and the Arab region that wants to restore Turkish hegemony to the territories occupied by the Ottoman Caliphate. Erdogan makes no secret of his desire to change the Treaty of Sèvre of 1920, which required the Turks to cede all non-Turkic territory, including Arab countries, and the Treaty of Lausanne, signed in July 1923, which defined Turkey's current borders despite annexing part of Syrian territory, most notably Kilkya and Iskenderun.

 Erdogan used the Syrian war to push his forces into northern Syria and support opposition armed groups and terrorist jihadist groups to take control of northern and eastern Syria.

Why did the US decide to withdraw forces from Syria right now? Does America really want to preserve the unity and territorial integrity of Syria?

Trump wants to withdraw US troops from Syria and other war zones from the start, especially before the start of the US presidential campaign in 2020. He does not want to clash with Turkish troops in Syria. Of course, America does not care about the territorial integrity or sovereignty of the Syria, which recognized Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan, supported semi-Kurdish separation in northeast Syria under the name of self-administration, and gave the green light to the Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria. The Gulf's money and media support Turkey's conspiracy and the opening of borders to tens of thousands of extremists, as well as American and French who  have supported and laid at  the groundwork for the outbreak of events in Syria.

What goals is Turkey pursuing in NORTHEASTERN SYRIA?

Turkey wants to prevent the establishment of an independent Kurdish entity in northern Syria, and prevent the military presence of the YPG that may threaten its internal security because of its relationship with the PKK. It also wants to establish what it calls a "safe zone" to prevent all this and to resettle Syrian refugees who have taken refuge in Turkey in this security zone of more than 1,300 square kilometers.

But this creates a pro-Turkish entity under its control inside Syria that resembles the security belt Israel built in Lebanon since 1978, expanded it in 1982 and stayed until liberation in 2000.

The Turkish occupation of parts of northern and eastern Syria under the pretext of security and the fight against terrorism will undoubtedly establish a long-lasting occupation that Turkey may link to imposing conditions on the Syrian state in the Astana talks to strengthen the status of its loyal opposition in the future Syrian government. If the Syrian crisis drags on and Turkey does not withdraw from this occupied area, it may act to bite it and annex it to its territory in the Israeli way.


Interviewed by: Haifaa Mafalani