Bashar Assad accepting the inheritance from his father in 2000, remains the permanent president of Syria. Just think, then he had not yet been 35, and now he is approaching the middle of the sixth decade. A whole epoch, as in the case of Vladimir Putin, who has led Russia for about the same time.
Well, Assad turned out to be a rather strong-willed person, since he managed to survive the hardships and hold on to the presidency for all this time. And this is despite the fact that the previous Syrian leader, Bashar’s own father doubted the possibilities of his younger son to be the head of the republic. Yes, he considered his replacement with Basil, the eldest son, but he died in a car accident in 1994. So, Hafez Asad had no choice but to appoint Bashar as the successor. Although the entire previous biography of the then president’s second son was completely inappropriate for this. Bashar was not brought up like Basil. He was rather soft, and one could hardly imagine that in the future he would be capable of extremely difficult decisions. In addition, he studied at the physician, and, according to available information, he received an excellent education, and he also made progress in ophthalmology.
But by the will of fate, the share of this intellectual, who unexpectedly became president, fell to the most difficult test that can only shake any country – a civil war. His own people turned against him, he answered harshly. As a result, all of this resulted in the most terrible bloodshed, according to some it has taken about half million lives today, if not more. The others believe this number is exagerated.
During the war years, that just did not happen with Assad. At first, he suffered some setbacks. His army actually collapsed – part of the military under the guise of refugees left the country, the other part went over to the opposition or even to the terrorists. His state was destroyed in front of his eyes, – almost in every corner there appeared self-proclaimed rulers, it was enough for them to seize a couple of sparsely populated villages. Then came the Islamic state. It changed everything, because nobody could resist under its onslaught – neither other terrorists, nor the opposition. Assad also suffered from Abu Bakr Baghdadi (the leader of the ISIS), who called himself a caliph and announced to the world the creation of a new theocratic state on the map of the Middle East.
The troops of the terrorists at one point were close to the complete capture of Syria. There was very little left for them, but for complete victory there was not enough capture of the capital, capture of the ancient and glorious Damascus. It would be a nightmare if the militants managed to take the city for themselves – we all know what they did with Palmyra and other magnificent pearls of the Middle East.
But Assad did not give up. He came up with a great plan – when the Iranians were not ebough to defend his country and his power, he called the Russians. From a political point of view, it was a great plan and probably the only chance to escape. But the certain risks for his career this invitation nevertheless carried. The fact is that in case of success, Moscow will definitely take its toll. Just because nothing is done.
So it happened. After Russia freed most of the SAR from terrorists, its influence on Damascus’s foreign affairs became comprehensive. All the key decisions began to take the Kremlin – with whom Assad is friends, with whom he should be an enemy, and from whom to endure all offenses.
But after a certain time had elapsed, the Syrian president seemed to be tired of all this, and he increasingly began to show independence. This is evident in some of his actions and individual statements, which can not but cause surprise.
For example, quite recently he, speaking before the mayors of Syrian cities and before other officials, spoke about the problems of Syria. He walked around the Kurds, and made them understand that no one would protect them except the Syrian Arab Army, and sooner or later Washington would betray them. This, in principle, fits into the Russian official position.
Much more interesting is the attitude of Assad to one of our key comrades in the Middle East. This is about Turkey, relations with which in recent years have been valued among us even above the union with Iran, about which, it seems, our officials think that it is not particularly influential in the region. But Assad clearly does not like all these fraternizations between Putin and Erdogan, because he considers the latter a “little American pawn”. Yes, that’s exactly what he said.
In his opinion, Ankara’s independence is a fiction, and all its disputes with Washington are nothing more than a staging. Because in fact, Erdogan is doing what the States say to him. He gave the example of the invasion of the Turkish army in the SAR. According to the Syrian president, when the Americans told Erdogan to calm down, he obediently obeyed and refused to aggression. He began to act only after the approval of the States. Just earlier, Assad believes, Washington had terrorists to carry out its plans, but now they don’t, and that’s why it took the Turks. However, the head of the SAR sees a certain problem in the behavior of Erdogan, for that “end of patience”.
Does Bashar Assad have the right to speak in this way? Of course, because for him the Turkish army is an interventionist who occupied a part of the country, and in this sense it is no different from the Americans. As for his personal dislike for Erdogan, the Turkish president more than once called the Syrian colleague a murderer responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrians. So mutual insults in this case do not look something strange. It’s just strange that Asad focuses precisely on Erdogan’s lack of independence. It turns out that the Kremlin is negotiating with the “little pawn”, therefore, we should not give particular seriousness to all these numerous agreements reached by Putin and Erdogan?
Turkish expert Keram Yıldırım believes that Bashar Asad has chosen the wrong approach. With such methods he is unlikely to bring his country to peace.
– The role of Turkey in the Syrian war is limited. Erdogan said many times that he wants to see the world on the fraternal land, but he never seriously interfered in the intra Syrian processes. Yes, he talked about supporting the opposition, and even provided assistance. But all of this was directed mainly at the fight against terrorist organizations (talking about the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the Popular Self-Defense Detachments, which Ankara officially considers terrorists). And, despite the political interference in recent years, neutrality remains in relation to Assad.
– But there was a military intervention?
- If we talk about military intervention, then we must remember that Turkey, before launching the operation in Afrin, conducted negotiations with the Russian side. It was then announced that no one objects to the situation being controlled by representatives of the regime in this part of Aleppo. This operation would not have happened if Assad could deal with the terrorists himself, but he could neither agree nor solve this problem by force. This suggests the possibility of normal contact between Turkey and the Syrian regime through the mediation of Russia. Therefore, speaking now criticizing Erdogan, Assad is doing wrong. This could harm the situation in Idlib and restore peace in the whole of Syria. You should also understand that he is an ally of Russia, and in Turkey they might think that such statements are coordinated with Moscow. This is probably not the case, but in politics you should always be very careful with statements.