Scott Bennett, a former US military psychological warfare officer and political commentator in San Francisco, made the remark during a Thursday edition of Press TV’s The Debate program while commenting on the death of more Turkish soldiers in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib province, where Syrian government forces are striving to purge the crisis-hit country from the last pockets of terrorists.
Clashes between Turkish and Syrian troops, backed by Russian airpower, have so far this month left 18 Turkish soldiers dead.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Thursday that 34 Turkish soldiers were killed in airstrikes in the embattled province as Syrian government forces, backed by allied fighters from popular defense groups, continue to score territorial gains in battles against foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants in their last major bastion in the country.
34 Turkish troops killed in Syria’s Idlib as govt. forces continue gainsThe so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 34 Turkish soldiers have been killed in air strikes in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.
“Erdogan is very close to removal or assassination or both and his military adventurism is of course doomed to fail; this is an attempt of a land grab, an attempt to spread his Wahabi fundamentalist terrorist mercenaries… The world knows Erdogan and Turkey’s agenda and it is not in the stability interest of the world,” Bennett told Press TV.
Asked about the 2018 Sochi agreement under which Turkey agreed with Russia to set up a de-escalation zone and compel militants in the area surrounding Idlib to pull out heavy arms by October 17 that year, the US political analyst said Ankara had failed to honor that agreement.
“Turkey has failed to honor its regional agreement and its promises, which is a dishonor to both the Turkish people and Erdogan himself, they had promised to set up the de-escalation zones, they had promised to cleanse the area of terrorists,” Bennett said.
“Erdogan and the Turks had promised to essentially settle the conflict by establishing these zones, in which civilians, women and children would be free to move themselves, would be given safe havens and sanctuary, and this is another indicator of Erdogan’s either mental incompetence and slow denigration and sense of paranoia or his untrustworthiness in his hypocrisy and his really true agenda which is not at all inclined to peace but perhaps inclined in a long war perspective,” he added.
Idlib is home to several anti-government militant outfits receiving Turkish support. The Syrian government troops and their allied forces have been waging an offensive since December last year to liberate towns and villages from the militants in the province.
Turkey has been manning a number of observation posts in Idlib since September 2018, when it agreed in Sochi to cooperate with Russia and contain the situation in Syrian territory near the Turkish border.
However, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) Takfiri terrorist group, which is the dominant terror organization in the province, and other militant groups, along with those supported by Ankara, have been launching attacks on army and civilian targets from the buffer zone, where Turkish observation posts have been established to monitor the enforcement of the ceasefire.
Ankara has threatened to attack Syrian forces if they do not retreat from the vicinity of the Turkish observation posts.
‘Erdogan backed the wrong horse in Syria’
Charles Shoebridge, a security analyst and former UK army officer, the other panelist invited to The Debate program, said what Erdogan did in Syria was a gamble which failed.
“Erdogan a long time ago played a gamble and that gamble hasn’t worked out for Turkey and hasn’t worked out for Erdogan personally. He backed the wrong horse in Syria… He has very much realized that he is on the losing side and it’s just a face-saving battle for him. I think he wants to avoid war, that’s a general war with Russia and Syria, but with the constant brinkmanship that he’s now playing, I think that’s way over risk and that could be devastating for the region,” Shoebridge said.
Turkey wants to return Syria to Ottoman Empire: AnalystOne of the Turkey’s main motives for sending troops to Syria and providing military assistance to anti-Damascus militants is to overthrow the Syrian government and returning the Arab country to the Ottoman Empire, says a US political commentator.
Asked about the way out of the situation in Syria, Shoebridge said, “The ultimate way out of the situation in Syria is to allow events to take their course and to allow the Syrian army to establish control again over idlib.”
Since the Syrian army offensive began in Idlib late last year, the Turkish military has been building up its presence there.
Syria and Russia have condemned Turkey’s cross-border offensive into the Arab country, which was carried out to allegedly clear anti-Ankara Kurdish militants from a sliver of land bordering the Anatolian country.