Ankara is using its military presence in northern Syria to prevent Kurdish independence and have more of a say in a post-Assad future of the country. The problem is, its main allies, Iran and Russia, are pro-Assad.
The assassination of Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, by a Turkish policeman has brought into focus the hugely deleterious impact of the Syrian war upon neighbouring states and the wider region.
The UK is ‘back East of Suez’, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson declared earlier this month. However, while the British government is making the engagement with the Arab Gulf states a centrepiece of its foreign policy, Germany is also looking to strengthen its relationships in the region, albeit more cautiously and with less fanfare.
The deal to implement a ceasefire across Syria brokered by the US and Russia is a major development in the course of that country’s brutal conflict. It presents a faint glimmer of hope – the first in years – that an end may be in sight to what to date remains this century’s bloodiest conflict.