The passions around Idlib are growing stronger every day. Recently, a lot of noise has been made about the People’s Self-Defense Forces fighting here against the opposition together with Assad. Some Kurdish leaders have confirmed this information. True, then rhetoric began to change. It turned out that Kurds were not being sent to Idlib, and their politicians had in mind something completely different. But at the same time they are ready to fight terrorism, as reported, everywhere in Syria, but after several hours even the potential cooperation with Damascus was rejected altogether-it turned out that it was impossible and so on.
After that, the news spread about the start of the operation of government forces in Idlib. News agencies from various countries in the region reported the beginning of massive bombardments in the south and east of this governorate. And it is true. Damascus really identified the province with its next goal. However, officials of Syria say that a full-fledged offensive has not yet begun, but what happens can only be called preparation. So now the media are quite careful in assessing the campaign in Idlib.
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But in Turkey they reacted with some apprehension to what Assad is doing. In Ankara, it was considered that the operation had already begun and it must be stopped. So one of these days the press secretary of Recep Tayyip Erdogan Ibrahim Kalyn said that his state calls for an immediate cessation of military activity of Damascus and Russia in Idlib. At the same time, he said, Turkey committed itself to prevent “mistakes that the regime made in other parts of Syria – in Dar’a, Homs.”
This is an unambiguous hint that Ankara is against the joint operation of Russia and Damascus in the province. Earlier, the Turks did not make any specific statements on this matter, but now, when the hour X is close, they considered it their duty to identify priorities. In general, this is not surprising, because Turkey has always supported only opposition in Syria, while Assad was considered almost an enemy. However, there were still hopes that during the period of rapid development of Russian-Turkish relations, Erdogan would give up some of its principles. Who knows, maybe this will happen in the future, but while Ankara is not even going to withdraw the contingent remaining in Idlib, although a few months ago some of the posts and observation posts were liquidated. Then it was connected with some kind of agreements between Putin and Erdogan, but, apparently, there were other reasons for that. And now the main question arises – what next?
Turkey will be a military way to stop government troops? And it does not even bother the prospect of clashes with the Russians? Or will Erdogan’s diplomats do an excellent job and persuade Assad and the Kremlin from the liberation of Idlib?
Turkish expert Ender Imrek believes that there is no serious misunderstanding between Turkey and Russia at the moment. It may appear in the case of Idlib or some related matter, but it will be overcome by diplomacy.
– Military collisions are excluded. Each side will not allow this. When there was an incident with an airplane (a speech about a Russian-born Su-24 shot down by the Turks in late November 2015-an auth.), We could see this. There were great fears, but Russia showed restraint, limiting itself to sanctions. Turkey is equally not interested in such problems. So even the worst scenario involves only a trade war. But it is obvious that the parties are gradually coming to a standstill. Russia can not now give up Assad’s support. He is given guarantees, and neutrality will in fact mean a rejection of them. Turkey has certain obligations to the opposition, in particular, to the Syrian free army. If in Idlib the opposition remains without support, then Erdogan will not escape the big problems in Aleppo. The Syrian Free Army operates jointly with Turkey in Aleppo against the People’s Self-Defense Forces and related formations. Idleness in Idlib puts a great question on the possibility of further allied relations. It turns out that Russia and Turkey can not refuse to support their protégé.
While Russia is going to capture Idlib, the head of the Syrian terrorists announced the seizure of the capital.
This does not mean that the war is waiting for us. Most likely, there will be a long process of negotiations. Partly within the framework of the Astana format, partly in a bilateral format. Both countries acted as the creators of de-escalation zones. Idlib is one of them. Perhaps the regime could have ignore this condition, as it happened in the south-west, but there is Turkey in Idlib, so this is unlikely to happen. Most likely, Russia and Turkey are yet to agree on a limited operation, possibly even a joint operation. It will be directed against terrorists who have always opposed any armistice, so there is no obligation to them. This will last more than one month, which means that there will be time to discuss everything.