Munich deal 'unlikely' to change Syria situation
Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin has said the Syria deal reached in German city of Munich is "unlikely" to change the situation in the war-torn country.

Writing in Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper Friday, Kalin said: "The Munich agreement for a cessation of hostilities at the late hours of Feb. 11 [Thursday] is unlikely to change the situation on the ground."

World and regional powers agreed in Munich Thursday to take steps toward halting the fight in Syria with the goal of achieving a durable "cease-fire” in the near future.

According to the Munich deal, cessation of hostilities between the opposition and the regime would allow humanitarian aid access to places under the regime’s siege, which continues to deprive hundreds of thousands of people of their basic needs.

"While Western nations talked about a political solution in Syria, Russia continues to intensify its military assaults to change the course of events," Kalin said.

Since launching airstrikes in Syria at the end of September, Russia has come under international criticism amid reports of Moscow targeting civilians and Syrian opposition groups in an effort to prop up the Bashar al-Assad regime.

Russian airstrikes have forced more than half-a-million residents to flee their homes and flow into Turkey and other regional states.

"The Kremlin sends its foreign minister around the world to give the appearance of engaging in slow and worn-out political negotiations while it sends warplanes to change the balance of power on the ground in Syria. Russian diplomacy serves as a cover for Russian military action in Syria," he said.

The spokesman said Russia aims to create a massive refugee influx in order to punish Europe and Turkey. "In many ways, Russian President Vladimir Putin is filling the strategic vacuum created by the indecisiveness of the West," he added.

Kalin said the fight against Daesh must continue in the region. "But this should not and cannot come at the expense of handing a military victory to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and its backers," he said.

About the recent dispute between Turkey and the U.S. over Washington’s objection to describing the Syrian group PYD as a terrorist organization, which instead classified it as "a reliable partner", Kalin said: "The PYD and YPG [military wing of the PYD] serve as a client of the U.S., Russia and Assad regime all at once, receiving weapons, ammunition, intelligence and air cover from them."

The U.S. also provided support to YPG in the fight against Daesh. "Under the cover of fighting Daesh, however, the PYD is basically extending its self-declared autonomous region in northern Syria," he said.

Kalin reiterated the idea of supporting moderate Syrian opposition and establishing "safe zones" in Syria for Syrian refugees and civilians.

"One thing the Syrian war has demonstrated is that diplomacy is a meaningful tool only when there is a fair balance of power on the ground. Without supporting the Syrian opposition and creating safe zones for Syrian civilians, diplomacy will be nothing but a casualty of war," Kalin said.

Syria has remained locked in a civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests that erupted as part of the "Arab Spring” uprisings. Since then, more than 250,000 people in the war-torn country have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN figures.

Last Modified: 2016-02-13 14:12:12
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