On Thursday, the US and Russia vetoed the same Security Council Resolution, the first time this happened since the body initially met on January 17, 1946.
On Thursday in closed-door session, an EU Security Resolution called on Turkey “to cease unilateral military action.”
Warning that “renewed armed hostilities in the northeast will further undermine the stability of the whole region, exacerbate civilian suffering and provoke further displacements” ignored endless US-led regional aggression in multiple regional countries, notably Syria, Iraq and Yemen — supported by Britain, France, and perhaps other EU countries.
Failing to condemn Turkish aggression in Syria by the US and Russia showed support for Erdogan’s illegal cross-border offensive — no matter its short or longer-term aims.
Preemptively attacking another nation is a flagrant UN Charter breach, no ifs, ands, buts, or exceptions about it.
Yet Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow recognizes “Turkey’s right to ensure its security.” Its only cross-border threats are invented.
No real ones exist from ISIS and other terrorists in Syria Ankara supports, nor from Kurdish YPG fighters — except in self-defense if attacked by Turkey’s military.
In remarks to reporters following yesterday’s SC session, Russia’s UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia sounded weak-kneed like UN Secretary General Guterres, saying:
“We said that all sides should exercise maximum restraint during that operation,” adding:
“(T)his operation is a result of demographic engineering that some of the coalition partners did in the northeast of Syria. We warned (about this) a long time” ago.
Asked if Moscow supports a so-called Turkish “safe zone” in northern Syria, Nebenzia ducked the question, saying:
“If there is a product of the Security Council, it should take into account other aspects of the Syrian crisis, not just the Turkish operation.”
“It should also speak about the illegal military presence (of foreign forces) in that country and the need to terminate it immediately.”
“There are many other issues on the Syrian file that should be mentioned if there is any product of the Security Council.”
Nebenzia stressed that Russia will only support a Security Council resolution on Syria that addresses key issues, notably the illegal occupation of its northern and southern territory by (US-led) foreign forces.
US UN envoy Kelly Craft falsely said Trump “made abundantly clear” that the White House “has not in any way” endorsed Turkey’s offensive in northeast Syria.
Trump green-lighted the operation by agreeing to redeploy US troops away from conflict areas, along with failure to denounce Turkish aggression.
Erdogan’s so-called Operation Peace Spring is all about his longterm aim to annex northern Syrian territory, especially its oil-producing areas.
Notably, his revanchist aims extend to northern Iraqi territory he covets, far more oil-rich than Syria.
His strategy relies on maintaining the myth of a Kurdish/ISIS and other jihadist threat to unjustifiably justify his cross-border aggression in both countries, bordering Turkish territory.
According to the ICRC, tens of thousands of Syrian civilians fled their communities, seeking safe havens out of harm’s way, estimating numbers could exceed 300,000 if Turkish aggression is protracted.
Separately, Russia’s Sergey Lavrov called for Kurdish authorities in northern Syria and Damascus to engage in dialogue, saying:
“We contacted both the representatives of the Kurdish side and the representatives of the (Syrian) government, and confirmed that we are encouraging them to start a dialogue to resolve the problems of this part of Syria, including the problems of ensuring security on the Turkish-Syrian border. As before, this is the only way to achieve stability,” adding:
“We have repeatedly voiced our position on what is happening in northeast Syria, including in the Syrian-Turkish border region.”
“(O)ur position is unequivocal, based on the need to solve all the problems of this part of the Syrian Arab Republic through a dialogue between the central government in Damascus and representatives of the Kurdish communities that traditionally reside in this territory.”
The Trump regime’s failure to support Kurdish self-defense against Turkish aggression offers an opportunity for rapprochement with Damascus, both sides uniting for Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity against foreign aggression.
Lavrov also aims for “reconciliation talks” between Turkish and Syrian authorities.
They’re off the table as long as Erdogan’s ordered cross-border aggression continues, his revanchist objectives remain unchanged, as well as calling for toppling Bashar al-Assad remains firm.
“(t)here are reasons to believe that (Syrian/Turkish dialogue) will meet the interests of both countries.”
He’s actively “promoting contacts between Damascus and Kurdish organizations that renounce extremism and terrorist methods of activity,” adding:
“We’ve heard Syrian officials and Kurdish organizations’ representatives say they are interested in Russia using its good relations with all parties to this process for assistance in establishing such a dialogue. We’ll see how to go about this business.”
Ahead of Turkish cross-border aggression in Syria, Kurds expressed interest in partnering with Damascus against the planned offensive now underway.
Throughout Obama’s war, now Trump’s, the US went all out to prevent an alliance between Kurds in northern Syria and Assad — a key objective to help defeat Washington’s imperial aims in the country.
On Thursday, Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad said Damascus will not hold talks with Kurdish forces because they “betrayed their country,” adding:
“The armed factions betrayed their country and committed crimes against it. We will not accept dialogue with those who became hostages of foreign forces. There will not be any foothold for agents of Washington on Syrian soil.”
Earlier Damascus talks with Kurds failed. Lavrov has his work cut out for him to try bringing both sides together again in hopes of achieving rapprochement that’s been out of reach so far.
Separately, Erdogan falsely accused Assad of “kill(ing) nearly one million Syrians,” according to Turkey’s Anatolia news agency — ignoring his alliance with US-led aggression and support for jihadists against Syrian sovereign independence and territorial integrity.
His unbending hostility toward Syria and aim to annex its territory makes bilateral rapprochement unlikely.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.