US President Barack Obama, wants to become the mediator between Russian President, Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
According to Reuters, Obama met with Putin on Monday at the sidelines of the Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris. After the meeting, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes informed journalists that Obama expressed to Putin his regret over the death of the Russian pilot but he stressed that Russia must de-escalate the tension with Turkey.
The talks were “eventful” and lasted for some 30 minutes, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists about the meeting between the two leaders. Peskov added that Obama “expressed regret over the incident with the Russian plane which was downed by the Turkish air force in Syria.” British daily, Daily Mail also said that Obama told Putin, that the Russian airstrikes in Syria need to target Daesh militants and not focusing military attacks against rebel groups who oppose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Today, Obama met with Erdogan for about an hour and according to the Associated Press, he pledged a solid US commitment “to Turkey’s security and its sovereignty.” Still, the US President also asked from Erdogan, to ease the tension with Russia and focus on the campaign against Daesh. “We all have a common enemy. That is ISIL,” Obama told Erdogan and added, “I want to make sure that we focus on that threat.”
Accusation between Russia and Turkey
AP reported that the Turkish president told Obama that he hopes to avoid tensions with Russia but he accused Moscow of bombing Syria’s Turkmen region, where there are no Daesh terrorists. He said that only Turkmen live in the region and about 500 civilians got killed by the Russian airstrikes there.
On the other hand, in the previous day, Putin accused Ankara, of downing the Russian plane to defend existing oil trade routes between Turkey and Daesh. “We have recently received additional reports that confirm that oil from ISIL-controlled territories is delivered to the territory of Turkey on an industrial scale,” Putin said, according to TASS news agency. “We have all grounds to suspect that the decision to down our plane was motivated by the intention to secure these routes of delivering oil to ports where it is loaded on tankers,” Putin claimed.
Erdogan replied to the accusation saying that he will resign if Moscow can prove its claim. “As soon as such a claim is proved, the nobility of our nation requires [me] to do this. However, the Turkish President stressed that if Putin is lying then he must be the one to resign.
Obama wants to act as a mediator between Russia and Turkey, as the US is the leader of the anti-Daesh coalition and it carries great responsibility for winning the war against the terrorist.
Yesterday, British daily the Independent, reported that US officials are pressuring the Turkish government to finally shut off its Northern Syrian border, as it is well-known that the area is used as a smuggling route by the terrorists. US demands the closure since August, but the Turkish government claims that the Turkish authorities are unable to cordon off the remaining short section of the border still used by Daesh.
On the other hand, Times magazine reported today that the Russian airstrike campaign in Syria caused many civilian casualties. Airwars, a watchdog group which monitors the airstrikes against Daesh, reported that during the month of October, Russian operations resulted in at least 44 individual strikes that killed between 255 and 375 non-combatants.