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21 Dec, 2016 14:36

‘West dismembered Syria, created incubator for radical groups’

‘West dismembered Syria, created incubator for radical groups’

The Russian ambassador’s murder won’t affect the Syrian peace process, says commentator Abdel Bari Atwan. The Russian-Iranian-Turkish talks on Syria could help reach a peaceful settlement after Western involvement only led to bloody anarchy, he adds.

Russia, Turkey, and Iran have said they are to work closer together to safeguard the Syrian peace process. The countries' top diplomats were meeting in Moscow just a day after the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey in Ankara on Monday.

Both Russia and Turkey said the killing was aimed at destabilizing ties between the two countries.

RT asked Abdel Bari Atwan who he thought would benefit from undermining the relationship.

He explains the goal of the assassination of Ambassador Andrey Karlov was to send two separate messages. The first one was to say “that Turkey is not safe at all,” the second - to disturb or disrupt the relationship between Russia and Turkey.

“If we look at the benefit from this – definitely the US and its allies in the region are the major beneficiaries from this kind of assassination. They want to muddy the water between Russia and [Turkey]. They would like to prevent the meeting which took place [yesterday] in Moscow between Iranian, Russian and Turkish foreign ministers together in order to try to find a peaceful settlement to the situation in Syria,” he said.

The attempt, however, did not succeed, Atwan said.

“…The meeting took place… Erdogan was very determined to go ahead to strengthen his relations with Russia, with Vladimir Putin. So it was counterproductive, it gave the opposite outcome – this kind of assassination,” he added.

In Atwan’s view, the murder of the Russian ambassador will not affect the Syrian peace process.

“Despite the tragedy, it could be extremely helpful to get Turkey, Iran, Russia - the most influential countries in the Middle East, in the Syrian crisis - together to try to work out some sort of a roadmap – exit map from this dreadful situation in Syria,” he said.

It’s now clear that all previous initiatives – including by the Friends of Syria Group, the Geneva and Vienna peace talks for Syria – have “failed completely,” according to Atwan. This new format – the Russia-Iran-Turkey talks – “could be extremely fruitful, because these three countries are on the ground in Syria.”

“They can work [out] together some sort of peaceful settlement, and to guarantee this peaceful settlement and the implementation of it on the ground,” the analyst added.

Commenting on possible Western reaction to the Troika, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called it, Atwan said that Western countries have been involved in the Syrian crisis for almost six years but have failed to “reach any sort of peaceful settlement, political settlement.”

“What they did? They created very bloody anarchy. They dismembered the country; wars after wars. They created the incubator for radical Islamic organizations like ISIS, like Al-Qaeda. What they can do now?” he said.

“They had their opportunity. The outcome was bloody. So now this Troika – the three counties are working together, and say: “Look, stay aside.” But if they try to intervene, I don’t think they will have any success. Syrian people, as far as I know, are outraged, because the West, the US, the Gulf Arab States, let them down instead of helping them [to come to a] peaceful solution.., or to put an end to this war…They failed [both militarily and politically],” Atwan said.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.