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21.10.2020

"The Takeaway: Would US-Turkey ties get better or worse if Biden wins?"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/10/turkey-us-ties-election-biden-trump-2020-erdogan-iraq-
iran.html

Andrew Parasiliti analysiert die mögliche Entwicklung der amerikanisch-türkischen Beziehungen nach einem Wahlsieg Joe Bidens. "Trump, Putin and Erdogan, despite differing interests, operate by personal diplomacy. It’s all 'art of the deal' when the three talk, and hard feelings and any baggage are left at the door. Without this type of connection, Turkey’s ties with Russia and the United States could easily spiral downward. Even with a second Trump administration, however, it is hard to imagine US-Turkey relations getting better. So what would change with a Biden administration? Well, Biden has the touch for personal diplomacy, but unlike with other world leaders, there is no chemistry with Erdogan. Biden could probably leverage NATO more effectively, but Erdogan doesn’t mind lashing out at the West; that’s a winner with his political base. Biden is also likely to be more sympathetic to Democratic and Congressional concerns about Turkey, including human rights and sanctions over the S-400."

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20.10.2020

"France, Egypt join forces to reach settlement in Libya"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/10/egypt-france-initiative-settle-libya-crisis.html

Frankreich und Ägypten haben eine neue diplomatische Initiative zur Beilegung des Konflikts in Libyen gestartet. "France's Ambassador to Egypt Stephane Romatet announced in press statements Oct. 13 the launching of a new initiative to solve the Libyan crisis, in coordination with Egypt. The initiative will include neighboring countries and all political actors in the crisis. In an interview with Al-Shorouk newspaper Oct. 10, Romatet said, 'France and Egypt share the same view regarding ways to settle the Libyan crisis, mainly by transforming the temporary truce into a permanent cease-fire and pushing all Libyan parties to reach a common political agenda. Despite the difficulty of that, this agenda must be reached as the only way to fill the political vacuum in the country, because there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis.'"

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16.10.2020

"US drone strike kills two suspected al-Qaeda officials in Idlib"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/10/us-drone-syria-idlib-qaeda-huras-aldin.html

Das US-Militär hat zwei mutmaßliche Al-Qaida-Anführer in der syrischen Rebellenhochburg Idlib durch einen Drohnenschlag getötet. "Thursday’s strike was the latest in a string of US killings of suspected al-Qaeda officials in Syria’s opposition-held northwest, a region in which Turkish forces are present. Turkey has agreed with Russia to remove extremist groups from the area as part of a cease-fire that halted the Syrian government’s Russia-backed offensive against the opposition-held province earlier this year. But Turkey has not cracked down on Huras al-Din’s rival, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, leading to speculation that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham may have been providing Turkish intelligence information about Huras al-Din figures. Both Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Huras al-Din both have roots in al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, the defunct Jabhat al-Nusra."

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14.10.2020

"Will Russia recruit Syrian Kurds to fight in Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict?"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/10/russia-recuit-syria-kurds-fighting-armenia-azerbaijan.
html

Kirill Semenov hält es für möglich, dass Russland die armenische Seite im Konflikt um Bergkarabach mit syrischen Söldnern unterstützen könnte. "It cannot be ruled out that in the future, if the cease-fire in Karabakh is disrupted and full-scale hostilities resume, Russia would be interested in the involvement of additional military contingents friendly to Yerevan and hostile to Ankara’s regional forces. Armenia, which has very limited resources, will find it increasingly difficult to fight for Nagorno-Karabakh without external assistance. Kurdish groups could become such an element of support and counterbalance the fighters of the Syrian National Army attracted by Ankara."

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09.10.2020

"Between a rock and hard place: Iran’s dilemma in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/10/iran-dilemma-nagorno-karabakh-azerbaijan-armenia-media
te.html

Ein flüchtiger Blick würde Ali Hashem zufolge erwarten lassen, dass sich der Iran im Konflikt um Bergkarabach an die Seite Aserbaidschans stellen müsste. Die tatsächliche Lage vor Ort sei allerdings um einiges komplexer. "In a country where a quarter of the population belongs to the Azeri ethnicity, over 400 miles of border are shared with Azerbaijan and the official version of Islam in both countries is Shiism, it shouldn’t be a very difficult choice to make when the northern neighbor goes to war. However, there are many reasons for Iran to think twice before siding with Azerbaijan in its recent conflict with Armenia. Armenia shares about 27 miles of border with the Islamic Republic and plays a positive role as the only Christian neighbor to the sanction-laden country. Iranians of Armenian origin make up the overwhelming majority of the country’s Christian minority, which number more than 150,000 of the total population of 84 million. As for the Azeris, there is no accurate number, but according to several sources it varies between 10 million and 20 million."

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07.10.2020

"Why Syrians are joining Turkey in Nagorno-Karabakh clash"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/10/syria-fighters-turkey-deploy-azerbaijan-armenia-russia
.html

An den Kämpfen in Bergkarabach beteiligen sich auf Seiten Aserbaidschans auch syrische Rebellen aus der Idlib-Provinz. Al-Monitor hat einige der Söldner telefonisch nach ihrer Motivation befragt. "Khaled Saleh (a pseudonym), 25, from the northern countryside of Aleppo, told Al-Monitor, 'I work with the First Corps in the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The living situation in northern Syria and unemployment forced me to go to Libya before, and now I have decided to go to Azerbaijan for $1,500. I never thought that I would ever fight anyone other than the Syrian regime, and I was fighting it for free. But I had to fight in Libya in order to secure my family’s income because we are poor and have nothing except what some humanitarian organizations in northern Syria provide us with.' Saleh added, 'By joining the fight against Armenia through Turkey, I will achieve two goals: The first is getting a financial income in light of the poverty we live in, and the second is to stand by Turkey, which stood by our side in the Syrian regime’s war against us.'"

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05.10.2020

"Kurdish authorities set to release Syrians from camp for IS families"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/10/syria-kurdish-authorities-sdf-release-alhol-isis-famil
ies.html

Tausende syrische Insassen in den von Kurden kontrollierten IS-Gefangenenlagern im Nordosten Syriens sollen demnächst entlassen werden, berichtet Amberin Zaman. "Authorities in northeastern Syria have announced plans to grant amnesty to thousands of Syrians held at a detention camp, mostly women and children, and allow them to return to their families. Al-Hol camp west of Hasakah city houses over 60,000 people, including civilians displaced by the Islamic State’s (IS) war in neighboring Iraq as well as in Syria. Many are thought to be families of IS fighters. Some of the women actively participated in their self-declared caliphate’s barbaric rule. Others were innocents forced to flee along with the jihadis as the US-led coalition and their Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) partners drove them out of one town after the other, culminating in their defeat at their last stronghold in Baghouz in March 2019."

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03.10.2020

"Jihadist regime forbids philosophy in Syria’s Idlib"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/syria-idlib-hts-ban-philosophy-university-jihadists.ht
ml

Das dschihadistische Rebellenregime in der syrischen Idlib-Provinz habe ein generelles Philosophie-Verbot erlassen, berichtet Sultan al-Kanj. "Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which controls almost the entirety of Syria’s Idlib province, forbids philosophy and related courses in the universities of the area. HTS did not allow the University of Idlib, which is run by its Syrian Salvation Government to open a philosophy department. It also banned any philosophical forums or cultural events as well as publications about philosophy. (…) Orabi Adul-Hayy Orabi, a researcher at the Jusoor Center for Studies and a philosopher from Aleppo who is currently based in Turkey, told Al-Monitor, 'All jihadist groups reject philosophy and related fields in their areas of control, whether the Taliban, al-Qaeda, IS or HTS. Philosophy is the study and discussion of ideas not as an absolute fact or reality. This is in direct conflict of the jihadist dogma that categorically rejects this concept. Philosophy is based on reasoning. The leaders of jihadist groups are graduates of Sharia schools and applied sciences, which are not abstract.'"

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30.09.2020

"Turkey backs Azerbaijan in war with Armenia as Russia stands by"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/armenia-azerbaijan-conflict-plot-turkey.html

Amberin Zaman zufolge gibt es Hinweise darauf, dass die Eskalation des Konflikts in Bergkarabach von Aserbaidschan und der Türkei geplant worden sei. Russlands aktuell eher passive Haltung könnte demnach ebenfalls strategische Hintergründe haben: "Those who argue that Russia is letting Turkey and Azerbaijan run loose for the moment offer several reasons. It wants to expose the impotence of the United States and France, who together with Russia are permanent members of the so-called Minsk Group. The group, which operates under the umbrella of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, has been trying unsuccessfully to broker peace since 1994. When both sides are sufficiently exhausted Russia will step in as the ultimate arbiter of the conflict, sending a strong message to Pashinyan that his reformist 2018 Velvet Revolution comes at a price."

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25.09.2020

"Why rejoining the Iran nuclear deal isn’t so easy, even if Biden wins"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/rejoin-iran-nuclear-deal-jcpoa-biden.html

Auch im Fall eines Machtwechsels im Weißen Haus wäre ein erneuter Beitritt der USA in das internationale Atomabkommen mit dem Iran Al-Monitor zufolge alles andere als einfach. "Biden, for his part, has said that the United States would rejoin the JCPOA if Iran returns to 'strict compliance.' But Biden, like Trump, also seems to want a new deal. He writes that rejoining the pact is 'a starting point' for negotiations to strengthen and extend the JCPOA, 'while more effectively pushing back against Iran’s other destabilizing activities.' Iran, so far, is rejecting the pitch from both candidates. (…) A second Trump or first Biden administration will be negotiating with Iran, one way or another. Iran’s hard-line position now is no surprise, given that prospect, but the hedge here is that Iranian officials will be ready to talk. Iran is hurting badly as a result of US sanctions and its interest is in getting sanctions lifted."

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25.09.2020

"Turkey's military deterrence breaks down in Syria's last rebel stronghold"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/turkey-syria-russia-idlib-escalation-inevitable-m4-hig
hway.html

Trotz der türkischen Unterstützung für die Rebellen in der syrischen Idlib-Provinz erscheine eine Offensive der syrischen Regierungstruppen mit russischer Unterstützung immer wahrscheinlicher, schreibt Fehim Tastekin. "Clashes between the Syrian government forces and rebels in Idlib have significantly increased following Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Syria early September, marking a turning point for the Russian-Turkish cease-fire deal in the last rebel bastion. (…) In sum, although Ankara’s game plan is to maintain the status quo in Idlib through military deterrence, further escalation in Idlib seems likely. Russia is dragging along Turkey to a new turning point at a time when Ankara has already been disturbed by its inefficacious Libya policy abroad and deepening financial woes at home."

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22.09.2020

"Turkey off the hook as EU postpones sanctions decision amid coronavirus scare"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/turkey-eu-postpone-sanctions-greece-east-mediterranean
.html

Im Streit zwischen Griechenland und der Türkei habe es vor dem Hintergrund drohender EU-Sanktionen gegen Ankara erste diplomatische Fortschritte gegeben, berichtet Amberin Zaman. "Turkey and Greece said they are ready to resume talks to address their respective claims for hydrocarbon reserves in disputed Eastern Mediterranean waters today amid a Turkish stand-down in the face of EU threats of sanctions. (…) In further signs of a thaw, Erdogan and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, held a phone call today. The two leaders had been swapping insults until a few days ago over France’s intervention on the side of Greece and Cyprus in the Mediterranean spat. On Sept. 19, Macron extended an olive branch via Twitter. Writing in Turkish, he called for 'responsible, sincere, and clear-eyed dialogue.' Erdogan responded on his own official feed that Turkey would 'heed every sincere call' and push for a diplomatic solution that would be a win 'for all.'"

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21.09.2020

"Are Iraqi youths losing their religion?"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/irreligionism-religion-atheism-iraq-secularism.html

Junge Menschen in Irak und anderen Ländern im Nahen Osten betrachten sich neuen Studien zufolge zunehmend als "Säkularisten", berichtet Judit Neurink. "Although Arab Barometer, a research network at Princeton University and the University of Michigan, suggests that the political system in countries like Iraq and Lebanon reinforces religious identities, which serves to maintain the religious influence in daily life, the same body concluded its 2019 polling surveys by writing, 'There has been a decline in religious faith and trust in religious parties across the Middle East and North Africa.' Islamic political parties have warned about the spread of atheism in Iraq, calling for confronting this 'dangerous conspiracy,' according to former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. (…) Official statistics are not available, but the trend is illustrated by the fact that religious practice like mosque attendance is down. According to Arab Barometer, the number of Iraqis who say they attend Friday prayers has fallen from 60% to 33% in five years time, in addition to a dramatic decline in trust in Iraq’s Islamist parties — from 35% in 2013 to 20% in 2018. (…) The trend goes hand in hand with the increased activism of young secular activists in the protest movement."

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18.09.2020

"How Turkey became the bane of Arab regimes"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/turkey-israel-uae-deal-ankara-became-bane-of-arab-regi
mes.html

Einige Experten sind der Ansicht, dass die türkische Außenpolitik im Nahen Osten zur Annährung arabischer Staaten an Israel beigetragen habe. "Turkey’s Islamist-based foreign policy under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has left Ankara’s ties with the Arab world in shambles. The days when Erdogan and members of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) assumed their Islamist identity would automatically bring Turkey and Arab regimes closer are long gone. (…) Iran is the main concern of the region's Sunni regimes today, especially among Gulf States headed by Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, many analysts believe Ankara’s meddling in the Arab world’s affairs and its strong support for the Muslim Brotherhood have also contributed to pushing some of these regimes toward Israel."

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16.09.2020

"Arab deals with Israel predictably rile Iran"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/iran-normalization-deal-israel-bahrain-uae.html

Al-Monitor berichtet über iranische Reaktionen auf die beiden Friedensverträge Israels mit arabischen Staaten. "Not only conservative but also Reformist publications spoke out against the normalization pacts with Israel. Despite their intolerance for one another, the leading rival camps in Iran share a fundamental conviction of unwavering support for the Palestinian cause and the struggle against the 'Zionist occupation.' Ebtekar, a pro-Reformist newspaper, objected at length to the 'black peace in the White House.' It also argued that Iran’s main regional foe, Saudi Arabia, was involved behind the scenes and gave the green light to Bahrain, whose leaders 'have become increasingly dependent on Riyadh' in recent years."

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15.09.2020

"How the Islamic State found a haven in Syrian desert"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/syria-desert-islamic-state-attacks-regime-russia.html

Vereinzelte Zellen des "Islamischen Staates" in Zentralsyrien stellen für russische und syrische Regierungstruppen eine zunehmende Bedrohung dar, berichtet der frühere syrische Aktivist Sultan al-Kanj. "Abd al-Rahman al-Asef, a former jihadist leader and expert on jihadist groups, told Al-Monitor, 'The most important factor contributing to the organization’s steadfastness is its organizational structure. Add to this its conduct of operations based on a well-thought-out strategy. Russia will continue to be defeated by IS so long as it is unaware of the organization’s strategy. Meanwhile, Russia is inflating IS losses in order to portray itself as fighting terrorism at a time when the United States has failed to seriously deal with terrorism. All this propaganda is to justify its presence in Syria and its support for the regime’s killing of Syrians. After all, Russia came to Syria to support Assad, not to fight terrorism.'"

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15.09.2020

"Turkey backs off in EastMed, but for how long?"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/turkey-greece-east-mediterranean-standoff-tactical-ste
p-back.html

Der Rückzug des türkischen Forschungsschiffs "Oruc Reis" aus dem östlichen Mittelmeer ist nach Ansicht von Cengiz Candar keine echte Bemühung zur Deeskalation, sondern eine taktische Maßnahme zur Vermeidung von EU-Sanktionen. "Although it’s clear that Erdogan has backed down, he is clearly timing his comeback rather than working for de-escalation and prioritizing diplomacy. Erdogan tacitly conceded to his new nemesis, Macron. During a summit between the Mediterranean countries of the European Union on Sept. 10, Macron lambasted Ankara. 'Turkey is no longer a partner in the eastern Mediterranean,' Macron said, adding that Erdogan 'was the problem.' Erdogan’s response was fierce as usual, but he must have realized at the summit that all the Mediterranean EU countries would line up behind Greece and France at the end of the day. The European Council is expected to discuss sanctioning on Turkey on Sept. 24-25."

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14.09.2020

"Does France’s failure in Mali spell a victory for Turkey?"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/turkey-france-military-coup-in-mali-rivalry-over-west-
africa.html

Die sicherheitspolitische Rivalität zwischen Frankreich und der Türkei zeigt sich Fehim Tastekin zufolge auch in Mali. "France had been the first country to reach out to the military leaders in Mali after the 2012 military coup. This time, it was Turkey. This may have two different explanations: Ankara views Malian actors opposing France as allies, or it simply doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to establish ties with the prospective Malian leaders. Mali’s natural resources, including gold, copper, nickel, phosphate, manganese, uranium and lithium mines, are increasing the appetite of Turkey. (…) Meanwhile, [Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s] meeting with the junta leaders can be seen as the legitimization of the military coup. (…) France’s responsibility in Mali’s descent into unrest might be creating a power vacuum, which Turkey is eager to fill. However, failed French policies that ignored the country's other problems for the sake of the war on terror for the past eight years do not secure Turkey’s success. Moreover, France would not risk its stakes in Mali and Sahel region."

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08.09.2020

"Russia enters EastMed fray, offers to mediate with Turkey"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/russia-east-mediterranean-mediate-turkey-greece-oil-ga
s.html

Russland hat seine Bereitschaft zur Vermittlung im Streit zwischen Griechenland und der Türkei um Gasvorkommen im Mittelmeer erklärt. "A Russian entry into the eastern Mediterranean fray follows months of attempts by the European Union, led by Germany, to defuse tensions. Russia enjoys good relations with both Ankara and Nicosia and is involved in energy projects across the eastern Mediterranean, but Moscow’s interventions could complicate the European-led process. The United States, embroiled in an acrimonious election campaign, is conspicuous in its absence. Last week, NATO said its members Greece and Turkey would begin technical talks to reduce the risk of accidents; already the military buildup at sea led to a collision with a Greek ship last month. Those talks have been delayed until Thursday."

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31.08.2020

"Algerians warn EU trade agreement could further decimate economy"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/08/algeria-eu-fta-trade-economy-coronavirus-bouteflika.ht
ml

Am 1. September sind die letzten Hürden eines 2005 abgeschlossenen Freihandelsabkommens zwischen der EU und Algerien gefallen. Simon Speakman Cordall zufolge gibt es im Land zunehmende Sorgen über "verheerende" Konsequenzen für die algerische Wirtschaft. "(…) like many agreements between the economic powerhouse of the European Union and smaller states, the Association Agreement was always weighted in the EU’s favor. While acknowledging Algerian mismanagement, the absence of a clear industrial policy and the rentier nature of its economy, observers such as Chatham House’s Tin Hinane El Kadi point to structural deficiencies within the agreement itself. 'The 2005 free trade agreement has reproduced standard unequal division of labor between Algeria and European countries, whereby it has consolidated the position of the EU in North Africa as an exporter of high-value-added goods while leaving Algeria and other North African signatories in a position of a mere primary goods exporter and preventing it from significant tax revenues from EU products,' El Kadi wrote in emailed comments. Moreover, according to El Kadi, the agreement has also allowed major European companies free access into Algerian markets, destroying local enterprises while diminishing government revenue streams that could have been invested elsewhere through the absence of tariffs."

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28.08.2020

"Is Erdogan trying to split NATO with his East Med gambit?"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/08/turkey-eastern-mediterranean-standoff-may-spell-nato-e
nd.html

Cengiz Candar analysiert die Hintergründe der "ultranationalistischen" Mittelmeer-Strategie des türkischen Präsidenten Erdogan. "All this frenzy represents the character and the discourse of the current character of the regime in Turkey: ultranationalism with some Islamic dressing. In Turkey, nationalism, in its essence, has never been exclusive to Islamism. The nationalistic characters of the successive governments before the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had a secularist component. In 2020, however, Erdogan’s autocratic regime can be identified with Turkish nationalism that harbors Islamist elements. This constitutes a contrast with the Western media’s description of Erdogan as an Islamist. (…) At the end of the day, it is a matter of geopolitics and supremacy in the eastern Mediterranean. For retired Gen. Ismail Hakki Pekin, for example, the collision with Greece is ultimately inevitable because Turkey 'needs to prove its strength, for it is impossible to reach a deal with Greece at the negotiating table.'"

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25.08.2020

"Clashes between US, regime forces present new challenges for Russia in Syria"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/08/syria-clashes-russa-us-sdf-arab-tribes-assad-deir-cono
co.html

Kirill Semenov erläutert die prekäre Situation im Nordosten Syriens, wo sich syrische Regierungstruppen, US-Soldaten und russische Einheiten gegenüberstehen. "In this area Russian and Syrian troops do not have full territorial and administrative control. The US-backed SDF continues to maintain its presence, with its affiliated civil administration, not to mention US military installations. Unlike the American contingent stationed in this region, the three battalions of the Russian military police in the trans-Euphrates region are deprived of aerial support. Russian aircraft cannot be deployed without the approval of the United States, which controls the airspace over northeastern Syria. This makes the positions of the Russian and allied Syrian forces more precarious in the event of possible clashes with local groups, whether pro-Turkish or Kurdish. (…) Russia's plans to consolidate its position in the northeast of Syria and create loyal formations there can be supported by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which themselves are actively working with the Arab tribes of the region. The deployment of pro-Russian military structures in northeastern Syria could lead to the creation of a 'buffer zone' there, free from the Iranian presence, which also meets the interests of Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. This would serve as a guarantee that if American troops leave the region, their place would be taken not by pro-Iranian formations but rather ones created and controlled by Moscow."

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13.08.2020

"Turkey grows increasingly isolated in eastern Mediterranean dispute with Greece"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/08/turkey-mediterranean-dispute-greece-erdogan-france-isr
ael.html

Im Erdgasstreit mit Griechenland sei die Türkei diplomatisch zunehmend isoliert, berichtet Amberin Zaman. "Recep Tayyip Erdogan's assertive stance in the eastern Mediterranean maritime dispute is being challenged by a bloc comprising Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and France. (...) Marc Pierini, a former EU ambassador to Turkey and Libya and a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, said Macron’s actions were designed to 'resist Erdogan in this situation,' and the French president was 'not alone' within the EU in his desire to push back against an increasingly aggressive Turkey. Pierini told Al-Monitor in a telephone interview that the 'European way of doing things is fixing problems through negotiations,' but that Erdogan’s way was to dictate the terms, and when Turkey’s actions did not fall within existing laws and boundaries, it 'invented new ones.' 'It's never going to work, he predicted."

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12.08.2020

"Yemen’s Red Sea 'time bomb' is a Beirut-like disaster in waiting"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/08/yemen-fso-safer-tanker-oil-spill-beirut-leak-red-sea-v
essel.html

Vor der Küste Jemens drohe derzeit eine ähnliche Katastrophe wie im Hafen von Beirut, warnt Elizabeth Hagedorn. "An aging oil tanker moored off Yemen’s western coast has the United Nations and environmentalists warning that time is running out to prevent a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe in the Red Sea in what could be a parallel disaster to last week’s deadly explosion in Beirut. The FSO Safer, a dilapidated ship stranded about 37 miles north of Yemen's port city of Hodeidah, contains 1.14 million barrels of light crude oil and holds the potential to unleash four times as much oil into the sea than was spilled from the Exxon Valdez tanker in 1989, the United Nations says. An oil spill on that scale would cause lasting damage to both Yemen’s economy as well as what the UN calls one of 'most important repositories of biodiversity on the planet.'"

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04.08.2020

"Can Syria's Kurds reel in Turkey with profits from American oil deal?"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/08/syria-oil-deal-delta-kurds-sdf-kobane-backstory-turkey
.html

Die Vereinbarung der syrischen Kurden mit einem "obskuren" US-Ölunternehmen habe auch einen politischen Hintergrund, schreibt Amberin Zaman. "As further details emerge about the deal struck between an obscure American oil company and the Kurdish-led autonomous administration of northeast Syria, it is increasingly clear that the accord is as much about political brinkmanship as oil. (…) The first is to cement the US military presence in northeast Syria by bringing in a US oil company, an idea that has been floating around for some time. It’s no accident that when President Donald Trump said he was keeping US forces in northeast Syria in the wake of Turkey’s October incursion, it was 'for the oil.' (…) In Kurdish minds, the injection of US business will, over time, lead to deeper political engagement between the US government and Syrian Kurds. (…) Can giving Ankara a cut in the oil revenues by routing exports through Turkey melt its resistance to the SDF, in turn making the US military presence easier to sustain? Kobane is betting that it can. It’s a long shot. But the arc of history suggests that time is working in the Kurds' favor, except when they miscalculate and overreach."

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28.07.2020

"Intel: Saudi Arabia backs Egypt on Libya"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/07/intel-saudi-arabia-back-egypt-position-libya-hifter.ht
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Saudi-Arabien habe sich in der Debatte über einen Waffenstillstand im Osten Libyens an die Seite Ägyptens und damit gegen die Türkei gestellt, berichtet Al-Monitor. "Saudi Arabia is an oft-overlooked player in Libya’s civil war, overshadowed by Hifter’s biggest Arab backer, the UAE. While Riyadh’s role alone will not decide the outcome of the conflict, its statement of support for Egypt is likely a reminder to Turkey that Ankara’s designs in Libya face broad regional opposition. Riyadh stepped up its support for Hifter via Egypt over the past year in response to Turkey’s intervention on behalf of Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA)."

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27.07.2020

"Turkey untroubled by conflict with Egypt, UAE in Libya"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/07/turkey-egypt-libya-large-scale-war-over-sirte-jufra-un
likely.html

Trotz des jüngsten ägyptischen Parlamentsbeschlusses halten türkische Experten eine groß angelegte militärische Intervention Ägyptens im libyschen Bürgerkrieg Metin Gurcan zufolge für höchst unwahrscheinlich. "Ankara believes Egypt’s land forces are too weak for a large-scale ground operation and security sources interviewed by Al-Monitor unanimously dismiss the prospect. Egypt’s shortcomings in the fight against the Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula, Ankara reckons, show that its land forces lack much capacity in low-intensity conflicts as well. Another prevailing view is that the Egyptian army is haunted by a 'strategic trauma' around foreign ventures after its failed intervention in Yemen in the 1960s, often referred to as 'Egypt’s Vietnam.' In sum, Ankara seems to confidently rule out a comprehensive ground operation by Egypt in Libya."

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23.07.2020

"Will Syrian rebels kill each other in Libya's proxy war?"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/07/syria-rebel-fighting-libya-money.html

Im libyschen Bürgerkrieg könnten sich Amberin Zaman zufolge bald syrische Söldner gegenüberstehen. "The emergence of Syrian mercenaries is the latest cruel twist in Syria’s nine-year-long conflict that has claimed at least 400,000 lives, internally displaced more than 6.2 million people and led roughly 5.2 million more to flee the country, according to the United Nations. Some of the Syrian fighters headed to Libya are children, in breach of international law. (…) The warring parties in Libya have accused the other of importing radical jihadis and assorted criminals to bolster their ranks, part of a propaganda war that is being waged by the Turkish and Qatari media on one hand and the United Arab Emirates and the Egyptian media on the other, with sympathizers of the rival sides weighing in as well."

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20.07.2020

"Iraqi Kurds fear Turkey’s military campaign aims beyond PKK"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/07/turkey-iraq-kurds-fear-pkk-operations-lead-turkish-pre
sence.html

Die irakischen Kurden fürchten Fehim Tastekin zufolge, dass die Türkei mit ihren Operationen im Norden des Landes nicht nur die PKK bekämpfen, sondern nach dem Vorbild Syriens eine dauerhafte Militärpräsenz im Irak etablieren wolle. "Writer and political analyst Mustafa Shefik, a veteran of Kurdish movements, is among those who believe that Turkey’s objective is not limited to pursuing the PKK. 'There is concern that Turkey will entrench itself permanently. Such an extensive military deployment cannot be explained away with the PKK’s presence in the region. Turkey’s intention is to narrow the Kurds’ space as much as possible,' he told Al-Monitor, adding that Kurdish politicians are closely watching Turkey’s moves."

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17.07.2020

"Is Erdogan after a Caucasus adventure?"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/07/turkey-russia-armenia-azerbaijan-clashes-erdogan-adven
ture.html

Die Türkei habe auf die neuen Spannungen zwischen Armenien und Aserbaidschan mit "ungewöhnlich harter Sprache" reagiert, berichtet Fehim Tastekin. "Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has urged Armenia 'to come to its senses,' pledging that Turkey will stand by Azerbaijan 'with all its means.' Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has warned that the Armenians 'will drown in the ploy they have started and will definitely pay for their actions.' (…) As things stand at present, Turkey’s hawkish messages could be attributed to the self-confidence it has gained in its recent military ventures in Syria and Libya. (…) Two other explanations could be offered to make sense of Ankara’s outbursts. First, Erdogan might believe that he would benefit from a posture challenging Russian patronage in the Caucasus, having seen the West’s appreciation of Turkey’s 'outpacing' of Russia in Libya. (…) Second, Ankara might be hoping to pressure Russia in Libya and Syria. Erdogan has fallen behind his declared objectives in both conflicts."

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