The end of August is close, and the question of Idlib is still not resolved. It was expected that Russia and Turkey, which are responsible for creating a zone of de-escalation in this Syrian province, will be able to agree until September 7. On this day, the summit announced by Erdogan is scheduled between Germany, France, Russia and Turkey. It was assumed that on the eve of this event, the agreements on Idlib will be achieved, and the leaders of the participating countries will only have to strike at the hands. But all the news that is now coming from this Syrian governorate, suggests the opposite. First, Damascus is not at all inclined to drag out the problem. Assad and his officials have made a lot of statements in recent weeks, and only in some of them was the possibility of diplomatic contacts between the opposition and the official authorities allowed. All other speeches were full of either warnings or threats.
The opposition itself at first kept silence. The militants preferred to silently observe how Damascus pulls large forces to the borders of the regions controlled by it. One of the first to arrive was the elite formation of “Kauat an-Nimr” (“Tiger Force”) and immediately got involved in the battles on the border of Latakia with Idlib. The Turkoman terrorist groups and their allies, who tried to resist them, were quickly defeated, and as a result, a number of strategic sectors were transferred to the control of the government. But even here the opposition did not do anything, although in the battles with the formations of the Syrian Arab army, many formally not insurgent insurgents fell. There were not even any statements. They fell down only after the military projects of Ankara were activated in Idlib.
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Turkey began to seriously strengthen its points in the south and west of Idlib, eventually part of them turned into full-fledged bases. According to various estimates, now in the governorate there can be from one thousand to two thousand Turkish soldiers.
The militants became more and more bold with every step taken by Ankara. And recently their leaders even declared that a peace agreement, which each of them had previously spoken of as the only possible solution, is no longer admissible. What is the reason for all this? Turkey gives guarantees to militants. At first, they were informed that they were not afraid of the onset of the Syrian Arab army – it simply will not. Further sources in the opposition’s environment spread information that Ankara could stop Russia as well. And if its planes still bomb facilities in the province, Turkish air defense systems will shoot them down.
This news is not that much surprising, rather, it was just meant for a certain consumer – for the opposition. Of course, with Russia or somebody else, the Turks themselves are not allowed to speak in this way. Nevertheless, even in this case, Ankara can potentially greatly complicate the operation of Damascus and Russia in Idlib.
Turkish expert Keram Yildirim believes that there may be a misunderstanding between Moscow and Ankara, but there is still no real threat of clashes between the countries.
– Idlib – has long been the main disagreement between Russia and Turkey in Syria. Today this problem is aggravated. What is connected with the bombing of villages and towns under the leadership of the Syrian Free Army and other insurgent groups that are part of the National Liberation Front (an opposition group established by Turkey to unite all Idlib fighters who do not belong to terrorist groups – author). Erdogan long ago, before the fighting in Dar’a and Kuneitra had ended, he suggested starting talks on Idlib and Aleppo. These areas are controlled by the opposition, here is Turkey. About Turkey – it was not just an intervention, no, it’s a necessity, because there was a threat to national security. People’s self-defense groups consider Turkey to be the main enemy, and many groups within Turkey, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, are associated with them. Therefore, the expulsion of this group from the border areas was one of the main tasks of the Turkish army.
Now, when negotiations began between YPG (the abbreviation of the People’s Self-Defense Forces with Kurmanji) and Assad, the risks of strengthening the positions of the Kurdish terrorist groups (the PKK and the People’s Self-Defense Forces are considered terrorists in the Autonomous Republic of Turkey) once again became apparent. Because of this, Idlib’s problem becomes even more serious, especially after rumors about YPG’s participation in military operations against the local opposition. The probability that in the future Syria in case of defeat of the opposition the north will be given to terrorist groups dangerous to Turkey is high. Therefore, the defeat of the opposition is unacceptable. This is one of the main reasons why Turkey is ready to exert much effort to protect Idlib. First, we need negotiations. Also read: “In a few years, Muhammad will be the Prime Minister of Israel.” “In a few years the Prime Minister of Israel will be Muhammad.” Trump is preparing a bomb for Israel to take away the status of the Jewish state. If Assad refuses to destroy the opposition and agrees to introduce it representatives in the structure of state-governed structures, this will practically guarantee the stabilization in the northwestern and western parts of Syria. And about the fighting between the Russian and Turkish military, you can be sure that they will not happen. Everything is possible, of course, but even in the worst case scenario, the probability of this is not much greater than zero. Single incidents are also unlikely, but they can happen if the regime’s troops do launch an offensive against the opposition. This, of course, will affect the Turkish-Russian relations, but I think it will not reach the crisis.