Co-Chair of Syriac Union Party in Syria Sanharib Barsoum: Turkish-Syrian rapprochement is not in the interest of those Syrians who want change in Syria

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — On Wednesday, a formal meeting in Moscow brought together the Turkish, Syrian, and Russian Defense Ministers, as well as the heads of the Turkish and Syrian intelligence services. The meeting was attended by high-level Russian officials, and the Syrian security and refugee crises were some of the issues on the table. It is the first of its kind since the outbreak of war in the Syrian Arab Republic more than 10 years ago. Turkey has been slowly making a turn in its policy towards Syria and the oppressive Ba’athist regime headed by the Assad family.

Turkey seeks to return the millions of Syrian refugees from within its borders, but above all it wants a free military hand in Northeast Syria to bring down what Turkey sees as a Kurdish stronghold run by the YPG militia, which it has labeled terrorist. In November, Turkey launched a new air offensive against the Democratic Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, and it is the intense wish of the authoritarian Turkish President Erdogan, who wants to be re-elected in the general elections next year, that this be accompanied by a ground offensive.

In comments to our news desk, the Co-Chair of the Syriac Union Party (SUP) in Syria, Sanharib Barsom, reacted and said that the Syrian-Turkish-Russian meeting “goes against the will and interests of all those Syrians aspiring for change.” It is only in the interest of the Syrian and Turkish authoritarian regimes that are opposing the Democratic Autonomous Administration in North and East Syria. The Syriac Union Party in Syria is one of the political co-founders of the Autonomous Administration.

“The rapprochement aims to thwart the pluralistic and democratic project of the Democratic Autonomous Administration,” Barsom emphasized.

He added that “it is a new development in Syrian-Turkish relations which may lead to some smaller agreements that could help resolve the major differences between the two regimes. The meeting could lead to some results, but at a general level we don’t think it will help Syria become more secure and politically open,” said Barsom.

“We do not see in the results a possibility to achieve security, peace, and stability for Syria and the region. It can even deepen and escalate the Syrian crisis’ severity and complexities, which will reflect negatively on the Syrian people.” He further indicated that it is the Russians that would benefit most from the Syrian-Turkish rapprochement. “Probably, Russia will be the biggest beneficiary,” the SUP Co-Chair concluded.