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Turkish Daily Hürriyet: Putin Calling the Shots in the Middle East

Dec. 23, 2016 (EIRNS)—In an editorial in Hürriyet in Turkey, chief editor Murat Yetkin writes that Russian President Vladimir Putin has the most influence in the Middle East and the new U.S. Administration should work with him.

Yetkin wrote this while commenting on a Fox TV interview on Dec. 21 with retired Gen. Raymond Odierno who said that because of the "passive" strategy of U.S. President Barack Obama against terrorism, Russia had gained leadership in the Middle East. Odierno also said that it was "time for" the U.S.

"to lead from the front, be aggressive at bringing nations together, be aggressive in our own policies and bring the capabilities of our government together to take action" and "reassert leadership."

Yetkin then makes clear who is now taking leadership:

"Now it is a fact that nothing that Russia doesn‚'t want is possible in the Syrian theater. It is Russian President Vladimir Putin who decided to keep the plans of pursuing an initiative with Iran and Turkey despite the assassination of his ambassador to Ankara, Andrey Karlov, by a Turkish police officer under heavy suspicion of being manipulated by Gülen‚'s secret network. It was Putin who convinced Erdogan to drop the top demand that Bashar al-Assad step down, and it was Putin who convinced al-Assad to welcome the Moscow agreement which NATO member Turkey is also part of.

"And it should be noted that without Putin‚'s (and al-Assad‚'s) consent, it would not be possible for Turkish army to conduct a full-scale military operation to take the Syrian town of al-Bab from ISIL hands and also prevent it from being taken by the PYD/PKK.

"It is for sure that Obama has lost Erdogan. But it is not true that the United States and NATO have lost Turkey. The course of events from now will depend on the actions to be taken by Trump. If Trump takes the advice of Odierno, decides to bring nations together starting with Turkey and its 910 km border with Syria, as well as neighboring Russia and Ukraine across the Black Sea, he could simply start by ending cooperation with the PKK in Syria. Opening up an investigation against Gülen, not even extraditing him, would be the cherry on the top of the cake to win Turkey back.

"On the Russian advance, one has to examine the expression on the face of Putin before the coffin of Karlov at the Moscow funeral ceremony on Dec. 22. He is biding his time to act in a patient fury.

"It‚'s not just Trump; Erdogan will also have lessons to draw from that expression and exercise caution."

When briefed on this assessment, Lyndon LaRouche said it was on the mark and if we can get rid of Obama, a combination can be pulled together along these lines.

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