Robert Ford: The US has nothing to offer to Türkiye in Syria
In conjunction with Washington’s announcement of its rejection of the Syrian-Turkish rapprochement path, the former US ambassador to Damascus, Robert Ford, wrote an article in which he indicated that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will continue with this path, pointing out that Erdogan needs such an achievement before the presidential elections next June.
Ford confirmed in his article that was published at the Saudi London based, Asharq Al Awsat newspaper, that the bilateral groups that were formed after the meeting of the defense ministers of Syria, Türkiye and Russia in Moscow at the end of last December, are continuing their work, noting that the foreign ministers of the three countries will hold a similar meeting, and perhaps heads of state will meet before the elections, or Erdogan makes a pledge to meet President Assad, and he can claim the existence of an existing process.
On the military level, the former US ambassador to Damascus indicated that “we could witness cooperation between Ankara, Moscow and Damascus in order to help the Syrian forces and the Russian forces to gain more control over Manbij and Tell Rifaat in north-central Syria”.
Amid calls by the international coalition to the US administration to take action to contain Ankara and address its concerns, Ford stressed that “the US envoy to Syria repeated last week that Washington won’t offer anything to Syria, and that the Americans have nothing to offer Türkiye regarding the Syrian issue”.
As for the US stand rejecting the Syrian-Turkish rapprochement process, and its effectiveness, the Ambassador Ford said: “Imagine if Turkish and Syrian embassies were opened in the two capitals… Of course, Washington would object, and then what? The People’s Protection Units and the Syria Democratic Forces will continue to welcome US cooperation, economic aid and protection, and Washington will proceed in cooperation with its partners from the Syria Democratic Forces in fighting the remnants of ISIS that appear in eastern Syria, but it is clear that the American mission cannot settle the problem of ISIS in Syria, Or the Syrian war”.
Ford noted that “Washington is well aware of this matter, but its internal policy considerations are also calling for a political process in Syria”.
The Syrian-Turkish rapprochement is a challenge to the US administration, and would strengthen the Kremlin’s role in the Middle East, with reference to the Turkish turn towards Damascus, which came after Washington failed to address Ankara’s security concerns regarding the spread of the US-backed Kurdish units on its southern border.