Obviously, things don’t go as well with Idlib as expected. The peace agreement, which Turkey proposed as the only possible solution to the issue, was met with no enthusiasm in Syria, and, according to rumors, in the Russian leadership, not everyone was happy with it. There are many reasons for this. First, it actually means the freezing of the civil war in Syria. At first glance, this may seem like a good solution, since large bloodshed under such conditions is almost excluded. But it also rules out the possibility of restoring Syria as a state in the foreseeable future. In addition, hostilities can erupt at any time, but it is far from a fact that by that time Assad will be ready for this, and Russia may at all withdraw its forces. So the states are not restored, or Damascus will have to come to terms with the loss of Idlib and deal with the restoration of the territories under its control. But in this case, the Kurds can abandon the peace negotiations and finally establish themselves in the opinion that independent Kurdistan is much nicer to them than some kind of autonomy within the Syrian Arab Republic. So far, many of them are actively negotiating with Damascus, but if Idlib departs, the so-called Rojava (the self-proclaimed Kurdish state in the SAR.) will also be almost guaranteed. For Moscow, this is fraught with a loss of credibility and, consequently, geopolitical influence in the Middle East.
It seems that the opposition is also not satisfied with the opposition and the terrorists who are in Idlib. Otherwise, it is simply difficult to explain their frequent attacks on the positions of the Syrian Arab army, which controls the perimeter of the demilitarized zone. In fact, this zone has not been created, as there are regular collisions in certain areas. So over the past few days, a number of serious militant attacks have been reported. All of these attacks were repulsed, but government forces had losses. As for the militants – it is reported that dozens of them were eliminated, there are also many wounded. Somehow it does not seem like a truce and a freeze on the conflict. In addition, both opposition and government territories are regularly subjected to artillery shelling. And the important thing here is that civilians are dying.
It looks more like Turkey and Russia agreed not to oppose each other in Idlib, and everyone else is allowed to do everything they did before the Sochi meeting of Erdogan and Putin, that is, to participate in a sluggish war without the prospect of victory for one side or the other. In Damascus, this situation does not suit anyone, and rumors are already circulating that the top military leadership is actively developing a plan for an attack on the province, while taking into account the likelihood of neutrality of the Russian Federation and Iran. Quite an adventurous undertaking, if we recall that there are Turkish military with heavy equipment in Idlib. However, such an option cannot be ruled out, given that, in principle, Damascus and so every day they fight with the Idlib opposition and terrorists.
Turkish expert Ender Imrek believes that in Idlib is really quite restless, and initially everyone was expecting more from the deal. The probability that the one-time clash of the Syrian Arab army and the opposition will develop into a full-fledged war is always present, but now it is not the greatest.
– The opposition has problems with the regime. The National Liberation Front (the pro-Turkish coalition of the Idlib opposition ) has always refused any deals with Assad and his people, but it turned out that their representatives had agreed for them. To break this treaty means to substitute Turkey or Russia. Whoever does this will be one of the worst mistakes for him.
– Why, then, there are constant collisions?
- Here we must pay attention to the fact against whom the regime’s army is fighting. The National Liberation Front accepts the conditions of Turkey, which, as everyone has noticed, including in the Kremlin, tries to adhere to the terms of the agreement as much as possible. Weapons derived from the territory that will soon become a demilitarized zone. Hundreds of armed people left the villages in contact with the areas controlled by the regime. Separate incidents happen, but they are minor. The main problems of Assad is his problems with groups that are considered terroris and have strength. They are fighting not only with the regime, but also with the opposition. This may provoke certain difficulties in the region, but Turkey and Russia will resist any clashes between their proteges. This is a fragile peace, but it is, and it’s good that Russia and Turkey are its guarantors. If they change something in their plans, then immediately everything will be different. But so far the prerequisites for this are not observed.