We saw the human face of destabilization. Amid the endless Syrian war, we again witnessed useless raids conducted for no better reason than ‘agreements’ and ‘patronage.’ They were agreed upon because Moscow had been warned of the attack and of its targets — which excluded Russian bases. ‘Patronage’ because more than protecting civilians from alleged chemical attacks by Assad’s forces, they aim at supporting the regional allies of US, UK and France: Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey. Israel and the Saudis fear Iran’s expansion in the region more than Putin — with whom they have always been able to reach an agreement. In other words, if Assad broke with Tehran, he would not be in trouble anymore: the two Gulf monarchies have even offered him money for this.
After reaching a compromise in a meeting in Ankara between Moscow and Tehran — two NATO opponents who together with the US did not stop the massacre of Kurds in Afrin — Turkey must show it still has an important role in the Atlantic alliance and can determine the fate of neighboring Syria. But in fact, Erdogan must justify his neo-Ottoman dreams.
All this happened while the markets were closed: nothing should worry traders, since they’ve been selling since the trade war between Washington and Beijing began. Markets do not care all that much about Assad, but are very sensitive to the power struggles that might affect the economy and finance. They’re watching the Middle East while keeping an eye on China, which holds a good share of US public debts.