The name of the game are conflicting interests of all players. No two countries have the same goals in precise terms while generally support some vague, mostly meaningless ideas open to broad interpretation.
There are just few ideas that the players may have.
Before Erdogan and his politics and policies of crawling Islamism i.e. subversion of the Turkey neutrality (abandoned what Turkey entered NATO) and secular constitution adopted since days of Ataturk, took shape, Turkey was a reliable US puppet, that effectively, at least in Washington eyes, fought all Turkish opponents of the US imperial project. From religious Christian right to extreme Islamist movements to leftist ethnic Turks as well as the Kurds from Kurdistan Workers Party, all have been attacked and significantly impaired in their political agility.
Such an arrangement was convenient for Turkish secularists, mainstream political parties as for US imperialists since all emphasized importance of the Turkish army as explicitly constitutionally obliged to defend the constitution and conveniently southern flank of NATO.
Erdogan and his Islamists in Armani suits understood, just by reading history of their country, that a violent mass uprising, first would not garner enough support out right due to acute internal divisions and second, as was a case with leftist or Kurdish uprisings, largest army in NATO, except for US* is well prepared to suppress the rebellion, all within constitutional prerogatives, all legal in the eyes of their US puppet master.
Therefore, he turned to an organic work, taking decades long look and started spreading ideologies of Islamism in social context from bottom up, building organizational foundations, charities and other social support institutions, in Turkey and elsewhere in MENA in order to establish Islamic constituency ready to take power via so-called democratic means.
It was a path similar to Hamas in Palestine that grew out of religious teachings through social services into political realm not as extreme but a relatively moderate Islamist political force, and hence drew Israeli fury in contrast to al-Qaeda which Israeli condemnation were politically and militarily mute.
The slow but steady progress of Erdogan and his party taking over dictatorial power within Turkey, ripping the rewards of pre-2008 EM economic bubble and relatively small slump afterwards, despite few flukes such refusal participation war in the Iraq war in 2003 while making money out of it, was mostly ignored by Washington, although personal relationship with US government and US politicians were going slowly sour.
The open diplomatic conflict with previously friendly Israel over an act of open sea piracy and murder by Israeli navy of a “Freedom Flotilla” aimed on breaking illegal naval blockade of Gaza, as well as warming up Turkish relations with Russia and Iran made even neocons uneasy about Erdogan and his clique.
When in early 2011 CIA “Arab Spring” operation commenced Erdogan knew what it was all about namely removing secular political framework from MENA countries, destroying secular social institutions and bringing back sectarian rulers, like himself, accepting direct US protectorate of their vassal states not unlike to relationship of those very countries with Roman Empire some 2000 years ago.
An hence he quickly offered help for money, in destabilizing its closes secular government, namely Assad regime in Syria, especially that he had his own secret plans regarding this region, namely rebuilding a local ottoman empire under US geopolitical umbrella, counting on US being a friend to all the extremists, Islamic or not, and staunched foe to ideas of egalitarianism and secularism in the MENA, as history has shown.
But in first years of the “Arab Spring” Turkey has proven itself to be inefficient and having very little influence on the ground, much less than they promised to Washington neocons and, as it was later discovered, most of their early efforts after 2011 was to make money of the war by trading oil and transiting Saudis, GCC states’ money and military supplies through Turkey to ISIL, a creation of CIA out of inefficiency of Saudi/GCC sponsored al-Qaeda & affiliates in Syria.
Erdogan was scolded in Washington for not delivering Assad on a plate even aftre he was accused of chemical weapon attacks, turned a false flag operations of Turkish intelligence, and behold articles about Erdogan imperial ambitions started to show up in NYT and elsewhere online.
The US DOS unhappy with Erdogan judged him too ambitious and too independent for their liking wanted him out via guess-what method of “Turkish Spring” and to spring him out of office via releasing to public shady dealings audios excerpts of himself and his family profiteering of the war, hiding gold in their relatives homes etc., just before elections, which sparked Erdogan anger and threats to close twitter and Facebook and other ranting while massively jailing journalist and cartoonists with differing sense of humor.
This lengthy introduction I consider important to realize that Erdogan, not as much as Turkey as a country, has his own however delusional political agenda which is unstable, erratic, driven by varying emotional states, lashing out against anyone and everyone who is trying to wake him up from a torpor of his own illusions of grandeur.
So what are Turkish aims and plans in this war long-term?
The Turkish [Erdogan’s] long-term imperial objectives require that all those artificial post-colonial states would have to be slowly dissolved by promoting separation of ethnic, religious, cultural enclaves in Syria, and later in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and partially post-Saudi Arabia into statelets (Christians, Alawites, Turkmen, Kurds, local Sunnis, Shia, Yezidis etc., under a Turkish empire tolerant and enlightened protectorate.
What does Erdogan really want in a shorter term, which would definitely impact upcoming peace negotiation?
Setting aside all those imperial delusions and returning to earth, under Erdogan Turkey, from quasi-European, cultured, civilized country with stable boundaries and no open, hot internal conflicts circa 2002, a perfect candidate to join EU, turned into a pariah with continuous wars on the borders, intense and bloody civil war on its territory combined with steady wind of undemocratic political changes toward dictatorship, Islamization of public life and consequently conflict with its neighbors.
As far as majority of Turkish people are concerned Erdogan was a failure although he achieved his personal goals that did nothing but augmentation of his own power and suffering for millions of Turkish citizen, except for his own clique and Islamists supporters in MENA countries.
Erdogan is not interested in peace, not yet, but after he crashes the PKK as well as any secular opposition in Turkey and YPG, PYD in Syria is destroyed or controlled by US. While war is going on he has free hand to continue his all out military operations under guise of the war on terrorism having exactly nothing to do with Syrian War.
As crazy as it sounds he wants war to continue, bleeding Syria economically because of the money he personally is making but also because Assad is too strong at this moment and his Ottoman empire delusion cannot proceed without Assad gone and Saudi and GCC countries influence in Syria eliminated or under Turkish control.
Erdogan wants to continue the war since, while crisis is still unsettled, US needs him or rather needs Turkey as a counterbalance against Syrian, Russian and Chinese political and military influences in the region. Erdogan feels politically stronger and more confident after Saudis and American terrorist projects of ISIL and al-Qaeda affiliates to overthrow Assad are failing under Russian assault. Erdogan stand in Washington significantly improved after he has proven his loyalty to the US neocons by provocative shooting down of Russian warplane, which brought him American praise and closer relationship and attention he seems to be getting now. Erdogan was told by neocons that the US, despite some setbacks of its proxy mercenary armies, will not relent in its imperial quest and will prevail one way or another and hence he should choose US side and not to become a target of “MENA democratic wind of history” himself.
If in Geneva talks, there would be any chance for a true agreement about future of peaceful Syria with any participation of Assad or his acolytes, Turkey on US behave will not hesitate to act to break it just because its situation political and military is materially disadvantageous, as far as his personal plans are concerned, compared to just a year ago.
And hence Turkey, the west and ME allies will resist any status quo solution of today mostly by ignoring battlefield reality and demanding what they were demanding for last few years, namely that Assad surrenders and Russians back off. That means a negotiating dead-end unless a geopolitical deal, unrelated to Syria, is secretly struck with Russia, Iran and China.
“POLITICAL MOSAIC OF SYRIAN WAR: Part III. Saudis and GCC” is coming up soon.
South Front; Escalation and not peace the west is interested in.
Newer Artillery units used by SAA, range of 35 miles. New supplies from Russia?
Der Ez-Zaur: Perhaps last big battle of the war, over three thousands soldiers at each side fighting for this small enclave.
Sheikh Mishkeen: SAA making progress, took 80% of the city, a key for terrorist supply lines.
Cluster bombs used in Syrian jet plane bombings:
Untold war in Turkey between Turkish army and leftists PKK armed wing. PKK attacked military installation and the infrastructure supporting military operations. It is clearly seen wide usage of remote-controlled IEDs known from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Interesting fact. PKK mostly operates in rural areas while Turkish Army destroys Kurdish cities that politically support PKK. It is like looking under a street light for money one lost elsewhere.
Before we get so exited about Iranians as cultural counterweight to abhorrent Saudi regime. See this. A woman is being buried before court sanctioned execution by stoning in Iran.
Little European girls (German supermarket) now will learn what to wear in order not be attacked by mob of sexually frustrated thieves, bandits and former western intelligence assets brought back to Europe to start Arab Spring there.