In Damascus, as in Cairo, it has gone from euphoria to disappointment. And now in the Syrian capital, government newspapers describe the failed coup against Erdogan — enemy of President Bashar Assad — as a “conspiracy” organized by the Turkish leader to settle accounts with the Turkish Armed Forces.
“To humiliate the military commands and make them subordinate to the police (loyal to Erdogan),” wrote Al-Thawra. Whatever the case in Turkey, the reverberations of the failed coup will be felt quickly in the civil war ravaging Syria for the last five years. Damascus (and other Arab capitals) thinks that Erdogan, at least for a time, will be busy with the internal affairs of his country and, therefore, less engaged with the anti-Assad groups he financed and armed in the past five years. Those predictions will be tested on the ground very soon.
The crisis in Syria has entered a crucial phase in recent hours. Two days ago, the government army, the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and other allied militia took over the last road link, the Castello Road, to the eastern sector of Aleppo, which had been in the hands of jihadists and rebels since 2012. It means that the anti-Assad camp has lost the only channel it had for restocking weapons and basic necessities.