During the ongoing Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) annual summit which is being held in Kazakhstan's capital of Astana, Russia's Putin and Turkey's Erdogan publicly broached the subject of a potential Turkey rapprochement with the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.

The two have been in a de facto state of war for over a decade, with Turkish troops still occupying parts of northern Syrian territory, and after relations were cut in 2011 upon the start of the war. Turkey was foremost among NATO allies pushing regime change in Damascus, which involved covert support to ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other jihadist insurgents.

But more recently Ankara's priorities have shifted as it seeks to root out Syrian Kurdish paramilitary groups in north Syria, as well as squeeze out the US troop presence there. The Pentagon has long backed the Kurds and their aspirations for an autonomous region, but both Assad and Erdogan agree that the US occupation must end immediately.

"We couldn’t meet with my dear friend for a long time,” Erdogan had told Putin at the SCO during introductory remarks. And the Russian leader in turn told a press briefing, "We continue to work actively on a number of the most important lines of international policy. We are in constant contact with you. Our ministries and agencies are constantly exchanging information and coordinating positions on key areas."

Source: ZeroHedge
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