The deal between Erdogan and Obama, which Obama later reneged, was the catalyst for the Russian intervention in Syria:
The announcement that Turkey had struck a deal with Obama on Incirlik turned out to be the trigger for Russia’s entry into the war. This little known fact has escaped the attention of historians and analysts alike, but the truth is clear to see. Shortly after the above article was published (July 27, 2015), Russia began hastily clearing airfields and shipping its warplanes to Syria. Two months later, Russia began its momentous air campaign across Syria.
Why the hurry?
Mainly because of the information that appeared in the NY Times article, particularly this:
“Turkish officials and Syrian opposition leaders are describing the agreement as something just short of a prize they have long sought as a tool against Mr. Assad: a no-fly zone in Syria near the Turkish border.”
“No-fly zone”? Is that what Obama had up his sleeve?
Once Putin realized that the US was going to use Incirlik to establish a no-fly zone over Syria, (the same way it had in Libya) the Russian president quickly swung into action. He could not allow another secular Arab leader to be toppled while the country was plunged into chaos. This is why Russia intervened.
However, the current conflict between Turkey and the USA may actually be playing into neocon hands, as they desperately seek an enemy, any enemy, that will give them an excuse to send more troops into the Middle East:
So now Turkey and the United States are at loggerheads, the Turkish Army has completed its preparations for a cross-border operation east of the Euphrates, while Pompeo, Bolton and Pence continue to exacerbate the situation by issuing one belligerent statement after the other.
Is this the administration’s strategy, to lure Turkey into a conflict that will force Washington to get more deeply involved in the Middle East? Is that why the US has shrugged off its commitments to Ankara, dug in along the border, created a Kurdish state at the center of the Arab world, and is now thumbing its nose at Erdogan?
What is it the neocons (Pompeo, Bolton and Pence) really want?
They want to intensify and expand the fighting so that more US troops and weaponry are required. They want a wider war that forces Trump to go “all in” and deepen his commitment to regional domination. They want America’s armed forces to be bogged down in an unwinnable war that drags on for decades and stretches across borders into Lebanon, Turkey and Iran. They want Washington to redraw the map of the Middle East in a way that diminishes rivals and strengthens Israel’s regional hegemony. They want more conflagrations, more bloodletting, and more war.
That’s what the neocons want, and that’s what their provocations are designed to achieve.
Putin and the Iranians have shown the discipline required to avoid handing the neocons the excuse they are seeking. But Erdogan does not appear to have a similar level of discipline. That being said, Turkey is a considerably more formidable foe and even a low-level war between Turkey and the USA might be sufficient to break apart NATO, especially if Russia decides to assist the Turks in the way they assisted the Syrians.