TEHRAN, January 3,(BASIRAT)- Turkey once sought to resolve all its issues with its neighbors, but now it is proclaiming leadership and seeks to restore the dignity of the Ottoman Empire in the region, and this has destroyed its image and position.
When Turkey shot down the Russian fighter, together with other reactions, Turkey showed its dissatisfaction with the new situation. Qatar and Saudi Arabia shared the same frustration.Over the last five years, they have dedicated their strategic and political capital to overthrow Bashar al-Assad; however, they have not succeeded. Egypt is also unhappy in another way. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who cooperated with Riyadh because of the economic needs of Cairo, today cannot tolerate the collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Cairo officials believe Turkey disturbs the security of Egypt and perhaps the entire West Asia region. Al-Sisi cannot forget that Erdogan was the one who advocated the symbolic sign of Rabia (the Four) and continues to advocate it. However, there are some players including regional Kurdistan government of Iraq and Jordan which try to play a significantly strategic role through improving their relations with the powerful and effective countries of the region. But today, the regional dynamics of the West Asia are being advanced by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This activism is naturally against Iran, Syria, and to a lesser extent against Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. For sure, each have their own motives.
Turkey once sought to resolve all its issues with its neighbors, but now it is proclaiming leadership and seeks to restore the dignity of the Ottoman Empire in the region, and this has destroyed its image and position. First, the rise of Mohamed Morsi to power in Egypt, al-Nahda in Tunisia and Abdelilah Benkirane in Morocco convinced Ankara that Muslim Brotherhood would assume leadership in the region and Turkey takes pride in it. As result of its arrogance, Turkey came into conflict with Bashar al-Assad, and after the ouster of Morsi, Turkey came into conflict with Cairo. Turkey did not obtain any benefit from the conflicts, but at the strategic level faced the threat of Kurds coming into power in southern regions of Turkey. Its conflict with the Cairo, raised Ankara’s hostility towards the Arab World.The downing of the Russian fighter in Syria, rendered Turkey's last strategic plan impractical and unacceptable in the eyes of the main players in the Syrian crisis, the plan was to create a buffer zone from Jarabulus to Azaz and northern Syria. Turkey still continues its provocative acts and repeats its former tactical errors that incur strategic expenses; however, it has not yet changed its approach.
Saudi Arabia, trapped in Yemen, is making attempts to reduce its strategic costs in other regions of the West Asia. Five years of financial, armament and ideological support from the Syrian armed opposition failed to topple Assad. Russia's entry into crisis in Syria further raised the costs. In such circumstances, Riyadh was forced by its Western allies in Vienna to enter into talk with Iran. But to catch up with the developments, Saudi Arabia set up the initiative of bringing together the Syrian opposition groups, while still the list of terrorist groups is not specified in Jordan Document Format (within the framework of Vienna process), and Saudi Arabia has also invited extremist movements such as Jaish al-Islam to Riyadh. Failure of Saudi Arabia to leave aside the extremist movements has a major cause: failure of Riyadh to find a practical alternative. That is why the war in Syria could not be a win-win game for Riyadh. Nevertheless, the feeling of being trapped in Yemen, has made Riyadh more cautious. They know that they cannot resolve the conflict by inflicting a complete defeat to their Yemeni enemy. That is why Saudi Arabia, on the one hand is trying to draw international attention to Syria rather than Yemen; and on the other hand Riyadh shows greater readiness for political talks about Yemen.
Qatar which has adopted the regional strategy of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood still continues his way. For this reason, Qatar feels much closer to Saudi Arabia. A major part of what Qatar was expecting has not been realized, and the remaining parts of its expectations have incurred huge costs, but Doha is not worried about the costs. Qatar is the country that has endured the collapse of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and for five years has provided for a large part of the Syrian war is still pursuing its policies. It is important that pressure from King Abdullah on Doha has turned to cooperation between Riyadh and Doha. Therefore, Qatar at least currently collaborates with Riyadh in the region. For Doha, to cooperate with Turkey and Saudi Arabia in the regional issues means assuming a regional role, something that seems to have excited Doha officials more than anything else.
The cooperation between three countries reached its peak in the period after King Abdullah. Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan are in the opposite position. Naturally, the Axis of Resistance should be viewed at an angle different from this regional arrangement.Therefore, the regional conditions which have led to cooperation between Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, has divided the region into three side or axes. Each of these axes has its own priorities. However, since the conflicts between these currents, especially the first one about the regional policies of Iran have been longstanding, the rise of the conflicts between Egypt, UAE and Jordan are very important.Riyadh-Doha-Ankara axis pursue three goals: to overthrow Assad, to seize control of Yemen and to lead the Muslim Brotherhood across the region, and in these three priorities oppose to those of the other axes. The axis including UAE, Egypt and Jordan pursue two main goals: to undermine the Muslim Brotherhood and to combat ISIS terrorist group. For sure, there are some overlaps. For example, in Yemen, UAE and Saudi Arabia fight in the same front against Yemenis. However, in Yemen both countries are beginning to separate their ways. However, considering the future of the Muslim Brotherhood and the future of the Syrian government, they are against each other.
The important point is that the Doha-Ankara-Riyadh axis is primarily defined in its opposition to Iran and its regional allies. Accordingly, its conflict with the Abu Dhabi- Cairo and Amman is not significant. But Russia's entry into regional crises, the serious process to settle the Syrian crisis in Vienna talks, the increased pressure to end the crisis in Yemen and the resumption of talks in Geneva have put and will put both axes against each other. Since the main parties to the axes have seen the failure of unilateral solutions in recent years, the increased differences will create more balance in the region. This would also balance the arrogance of Riyadh-Doha-Ankara axis which justifies itself under the guise of sectarian discourse, and disastrous strategic decisions on the West Asia. Countries seeking to strengthen peace and security in the West Asia must contribute to the sustainable balance in the region.(Alwaght)