Idlib is wound of Syria, which has hardly healed. It bled yet recently, but diplomats from Russia, Turkey and Iran conducted a small operation to stop the pain of the whole country at least for a while. They agreed to postpone the war. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was speaking about this long ago – before the operation of the Syrian government and pro-government forces in Dar’a and Quneitra. But at that time his proposals were not taken seriously – Damascus officials and the military insisted that immediately after south-western Syria there would be a large operation in Idlib. Even on the day Erdogan arrived in Sochi, there was no end to comments on the upcoming operation. The media wrote about this, and social networks were filled with relevant posts.
However, the Turks, apparently, all figured out and knew that Moscow would surely accept their plan, of course, with adjustments, but still. In the end, we have peace. True, during the entire period of the war such agreements were reached many times. What, for example, are the so-called “de-escalation zones”? They were effective only very briefly, then one side or another turned to full-fledged combat operations. And to be honest, Damascus was much more likely to ignore the terms of the treaty than others. Ghouta, Daraa – these territories were part of de-escalation zones. So, the treaty does not mean anything in conditions of ruthless Arab war.
Syrian President is ready to give a damn about Russia’s agreement with Turkey and unleash war.
In the case of Idlib, one can, of course, refer to the influence of the parties that guaranteed the freezing of the conflict. Still, Russia and Turkey in Syria control a lot. However, the last time they were the guarantors too. In general, the war is likely to happen. Only while it is not clear who will start it and when. There are certain fears that Damascus can not withstand the test imposed on him by the world. According to rumors, the military of the Syrian Arab army is very unhappy with this approach to the Idlib problem. Many of them are threatened with dismissal, and voluntary pro-government groups are completely disbanded, as, it is for example, with the “Baath Brigades”. Against this background, the authority of Bashar Assad was somewhat shaken. The same military can not understand who is in fact the commander-in-chief – Putin, Erdogan, Rukhani or yet their president. Evil tongues say that the famous general Hasan Suheil, who commanded the Tiger Force, even fell out of favor because he protested against direct instructions from Moscow about the need to disband the spetsnaz under his control. However, there is a serious obstacle here – neither Russia nor Iran currently intend to violate the terms of the Sochi agreement. So Damascus is currently lacking even people and equipment for the offensive.
However, in Ankara, it seems, they think differently, because now the Turks are actively preparing for the fighting in Idlib. Otherwise, simply do not explain their actions. Almost immediately after the talks between Putin and Erdogan, information was spread that Turkish special forces were sent to Idlib. It seems to be no surprise – the Turks pledged to agree with the opposition, but especially stubborn warriors, and those there are, would have to be persuaded by force. Special forces would be useful. But then suddenly it became known that the heavy equipment, seized by the terms of the treaty, was replaced by a more sophisticated Turkish one. Now in Idlib there are Turkish air defense systems, tanks and other weapons. Somehow it does not seem like a peacekeeping mission. Why does Ankara do all this?
Syrian media write that the Turks explain their actions by aspirations to force Assad to adhere to the terms of the contract – suddenly he will decide on amateur performance. Without Turkish assistance, the opposition can suffer greatly. Another option is also being considered – Erdogan just wants to consolidate himself in Idlib with the goal of annexing him in the future, as he is doing with Afrin.
Turkish expert Ender Imrek believes that the imperial ambitions are really inherent in Erdogan. Perhaps he intends to make Idlib part of Syria, but he can not fail to understand that this is almost an impossible task.
- Afrin went to him Erdogan. After the People’s Self-Defense Units and other groups associated with Rozhava (the self-proclaimed Kurdish state in the north of Syria) Were expelled from there. It was a war in which one of the parties won. At the same time, before the start of the “Olive Branch” (the operation of the Turkish army to clear Afrina from the People’s Self-Defense Forces), Russia proposed that the Kurds give the territories under the control of the regime. And then Erdogan’s representatives stated that for them such an option is better. But the Kurds could not agree to this. By and large, there is not much difference for them – Assad or Erdogan. Both of them are trying to do the same thing: to destroy the People’s Self-Defense Forces and to deprive the Democratic Union of influence (the ruling party in fact, the political party that controls the People’s Self-Defense Forces). So with Afrin, the situation is very different from what we see in Idlib.
-Erdogan counts that he will leave Turkey? Afrin can really become a part of Turkey in the future. Erdogan did not have to win in Idlib, and in fact, the situation is full, he never controlled. There are terrorists, opposition and many more, but the main thing in this is that most of them are Syrians. They may be criminals or heroes, but they are in their own country. And the future of Idlib depends on them – on the Syrians. Regarding tanks and everything else – most likely, Erdogan simply strengthens the territory until stabilization begins. If Idlib falls, then the opposition will lose all influence, and her chances of serious participation in the creation of a new constitution will be negligible. Therefore, Erdogan probably wants to retain its right of the voice. The UN, Turkey, Iran and Russia are now trying to agree lists of persons from the regime and the opposition. So while this is actually necessary.