Putin ‘may give up on Assad’ according to Turkish president, in a sign that some of the last backers of Assad may leave him out to dry.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed on Monday that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin has shifted away from his support from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and is open to a Syrian future without Assad.
“I saw him more positive during the face-to-face meeting we held in Baku and in a telephone conversation later,” Erdogan said of Putin while on a trip to Indonesia, reports the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.
According to Erdogan, Putin “does not have that initial stance; he is no more at the ‘we are behind al-Assad all the way’ point. Actually, I believe that he may give up on al-Assad; he is going in a much more positive direction.”
If true, Erdogan’s claim would back up Arab media reports from late May, according to which Putin has started pulling his support from Assad as the latter’s long internecine war continues unabated.
Turkey and Russia have deep economic ties, but have been sharply at odds regarding Syria.
Full article: End of Assad? Erdogan Claims Putin Pulling Support (Arutz Sheva 7)