The need for regional cooperation against terror

The need for regional cooperation against terror

The world is discussing the terrorist attack in Moscow. Who did it and why? Who is behind it? What is the attack’s objective and which consequences can it bear?

We asked these questions to experts from one of the countries that has been fighting terrorism for decades: Cihat Yaycı and Hasan Köni from Türkiye.

Cihat Yaycı is a retired rear admiral and one of the policymakers of Türkiye’s “Blue Homeland” strategy. Prof. Dr. Hasan Köni is a political scientist from the Culture University in Istanbul.

Retired Rear Admiral Cihat Yaycı drew attention to the statements of the US. Before the attack, US citizens in Russia were warned not to go to “crowded places,” and after it, the US made a statement defending Ukraine, reminded Yaycı:

“ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. They say Ukrainians had no hand in it because ISIS claimed it, and the US hastily said, ‘There is no evidence for any involvement of Ukraine’. The US is trying to prevail in Syria under the guise of fighting ISIS. Here, the US is doing that through the PKK/YPG and also wants to involve Russia in this.”

A planned attack

“There was an announcement from the US Embassy in Russia before the attack. They warned their own citizens not to go to crowded places. It’s evident that this was a planned attack. The US knew about it. If the US had such strong evidence, did they inform Russia? And if they did, why didn’t Russia take precautions? Some are planning to drag the Middle East into chaos again.”

“Those who attacked Russia are the ones who created ISIS”

Admiral Yaycı also emphasized Türkiye’s fight against ISIS:

“Türkiye is the state that fights ISIS the most. It’s clear who created ISIS. Who needs an excuse to be in the Middle East? The response to that also answers the question of who did that terrorist attack Russia.”

“Russia doesn’t yield to terrorism”

Addressing claims that the attackers were of Central Asian origin, Yaycı highlighted Russian President Putin’s stance against terrorism:

“They want to pit Turkic states against Russia. Russia has good relations with them, which others try to disrupt.

This attack won’t bring Russia to its knees. They have attacked Russia before. When asked about the attack, Putin said, ‘Great powers do not negotiate with terrorists; they make them pay the price.’ This stance is important. Russia has never yielded to terrorism until today. This stance should set an example for everyone.”

Cooperation against terrorism

Yaycı also emphasized that a joint combat of Türkiye and Russia against the PKK and ISIS would bring the solution:

“Türkiye always calls for cooperation against terrorism. It would be beneficial that Russia responds to Türkiye’s call by cooperating against the PKK. The most auspicious solution is that Türkiye and Russia to fight together against PKK and ISIS.”

“We can also ask: Can’t this attack be related to the Idlib issue? Idlib is under siege by terrorist organizations, including ISIS members. Will Russia target Idlib now? Will Russia be able to fight in Ukraine and Idlib at the same time? What will Türkiye, which have been opposing to any intervention in Idlib, do in such a case? It’s necessary to consider who will benefit and who will suffer from opening Pandora’s box.”

Finally, Cihat Yaycı made 6 conclusions and foresights about the attack:

1- This terrorist attack may have been primarily aimed at disrupting the developing Turkish-Russian relations and the policy of balance policy, carried out in line with common interests.

2- While the world public opinion has started to hate Zionist Israel, the aim is to turn the hatred back to Islam and Muslims.

3- Since Russia is about to end the war in Ukraine with a victory, it can be argued that this attack aims to escalate the conflict again.

4- A favorable climate has been created for the US and Israel to demonstrate that they will not recognize any rules in order to achieve their goals.

5- Attempts may be made to portray Türkiye as “a country that supports Islamic terrorism”.

6- These developments may lead to assassinations and attacks in the future by alleging that Türkiye’s defense industry provides technical support to terrorism.

Russia’s new missile system

Political scientist Prof. Dr. Hasan Köni from the Culture University stated, “Russia has developed new missile systems. Within the war acts, Russia is bombing energy lines. It has plunged Ukraine into darkness. Russia doesn’t bomb civilians. Ukraine doesn’t have the power to prevent Russia’s this move.”

Köni said that the purpose of the attack was also to boost the morale of supporters of Ukraine as well as of its soldiers: “Ukraine supporters and the military need to shake and punish Russia to instill a sense of security. The best organization to be used for this is ISIS. The US and the UK are the only forces that can enable ISIS to operate in Moscow. Since we know this, Russian intelligence must know it too.”

Russia, Türkiye and Idlib

Köni explained that Russia would respond to the attack and that Türkiye would also be affected by the attack: “This attack will affect the Russia-Ukraine war. Russia needs to respond to this. It will intensify the bombing. Ukraine cannot receive aid from the US because of the Republicans, and Europe is economically squeezed.

This attack can also affect Türkiye, because Russia and Iran occasionally bomb Idlib and its surroundings. Any operation in this region would disturb Türkiye and might cause a migration wave towards Türkiye. Also, Turkish authorities have been constantly capturing ISIS members. Türkiye and Russia will try to cooperate. Türkiye immediately issued a condemnation. Of course, condemnation is not enough.”

The interview was initially published in Aydınlık newspaper on 24 March. Translation from Turkish by UWI.

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

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April 2024