Should Turkey opt for fresh military operations in Eastern Syria, it will pose a real hazard to the Armenians in those regions, bringing Armenia face-to-face with a real challenge in terms of meeting the community’s security concerns, an experrt in Arab Studies said yesterday, commenting upon the latest developments in and around the country.
In an interview with Tert.am, Sargis Grigoryan emphasized especially the superpowers’ interests in the region, noting that the moment is ″absolutely convenient″ for Turkey to invade Syria for rewewed military actions.
″The great powers interested in the settlment of the Syrian conflict are facing serious political problems domestically,″ he said, citing the repeated shootings in the United States, the street riots in Russia and the preoccupation of China with Hong Kong.
″The relations are tense with the superpowers and the countries in the region. This is a good occasion for Tiurkey to launch the repeatedly announced military operations, espeically in the light of [President Recep Tayyip] Erogan’s active policies over the recent period″.
Grigoryan noted that despite targetting the Kurds in the east of Euphrates, Turkey seeks to establish control also over the energy routes in northern Syria.
″The Islamic threat, which really existed, seems to be diminishing in the north as Turkey is trying to resolve also the Kurdish issue – apart from the problem with the Kurds. They are visibly trying to neutralize the Islamic State’s presence in that part,″ he added.
Commenting on the security-related concerns for the Armenians, the expert agreed that the rockets sent from Idlib to Aleppo may hit also the Armenian district (though they have so far fallen in other parts). ″Yes, Aleppo was liberated, but the danger still remains. And it remains not only for Aleppo but also Kessab given that the opposition groups, especially the Turkish ones, are still active in the north of Latakia. There are threats also to the Armenian neighborhoods in Qamishli. Should Turkey opt for a military solution to launch another operation in the east – where there are accumulations along the border – we will have a serious problem also in terms of guaranteeing the Armenian community’s security,″ Grigoryan said.
In his words, Idlib is now the major hotspot ″where the key to the resolution of the entire conflict lies.″
″There are groups which at the moment maintain an overall control over the Idlib province, with the Turkish forces – or groups receiving their support – being in the north-east of Syria and the Kurds [controling] the east of Euphrates,″ he said, highlighting a continuing conflict of interest among different world powers in the province.