Turkey Hosts Syria Summit: Erdogan, Putin and Rouhani
A summit meeting on Syria’s future got under way on Monday as the three participating leaders – host President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey; President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani — met in pairs followed by a three-way discussion. Erdogan has aggressively called for the removal of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad while Putin and Rouhani have emerged as the Syrian strongman’s patrons in the world arena. Erdogan apparently realizes that he’s lost the battle for a regime change but still wants Putin to pull the plug on the entry of refugees from Idlib into the Syrian northwest. Syrian armed forces are moving into the region as well, backed by the Russian air force flying cover for Assad’s troops. Syria’s neighbors see the end of the challenge to Assad’s reign as the starting point to moving massive numbers of refugees back into Syria.