So the Sultan travels to see the Tsar at the royal seat of St Petersburg. And the Caliph of Damascus will watch from Syria with the conviction that Ba’ath Party policy has once again proved its worth. The policy? Wait. And wait. And wait.
For just as Turkey’s power over Syria – its Pakistan-like role of conduit for Arab Gulf money and arms to the civil war, its smuggling routes to Isis, al-Qaeda (or Jabhat al-Nusra or Fatah el-Sham or whatever) – seemed an overwhelming threat to Damascus, along comes Turkey’s mysterious coup, its army neutered, and Sultan Erdogan scurrying off to St Petersburg to move his country from Nato to Mother Russia.