From Jerome Okolo
Following the Islamist assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, what are the likely scenarios – in my own analysis?
1. There won’t be a significant deterioration of Russia-Turkey relations as an immediate effect.
2. Russia knows where the immediate threats emanate from, and the policy is quite straightforward: Drain the swamps and the crocs will die off. The terrorists now massing in Idlib province and Southern Syria will hear from the legitimate Government of Syria aided by the Iranians, Russians and Kurds. The new US administration will not hamper this work – as not even they want the black flagged terror surviving and spreading.
3. Punishment for such a crime as assassination of an ambassador in International Relations is inevitable, but this is not the same type of event as the assassination Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, in June 1914 in Sarajevo. Russia’s response will be an exact copy of Yuri Andropov’s punishment for Hezbollah terrorists who killed Russians after a botched escape attempt from their kidnappers in Beirut about 35 years ago. Andropov wrote his resolution in the margins of the ГРУ report: “наказать по Восточному” (punish them in the Oriental way), which meant that the accomplices, brothers and cousins were hunted for many years and individually eliminated. The Turkish assassin’s friends and cousins should make peace with their maker and prepare to go and meet him. Nothing will change this.
4. Longer term, Russia’s relations with secular Turkey will never be perfect but always better than relations with Saudi Arabia with its dangerous Wahhabism. Russia will use minor partners – the Kurds, Armenians, and other Turkish minorities to create “geopolitical shocks” within Turkey and keep it in check.
On Saudi Arabia, once the Saudis bank the money realised from selling off Aramco and oil continues to decline, more people will realise that Saudi Arabia cannot be a viable State long term. If Turkey is friendly with Iran and Russia, it will be encouraged to expand downwards to Riyadh. If not, a ‘Congolese’ situation will be encouraged in the deserts of Eastern Syria, Northeastern Jordan, Western Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Does America buy this future of the Middle East? Obviously – and watch Exxon Mobil’s moves in the region over the next five years for proof.