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Russia and Turkey are on the verge of collision again

Operation in Idlib resumed

While in Geneva and Astana they are pondering over how to find a common language on the creation of a list of the so-called Constitutional Council of Syria that suits everyone, in Syria itself no one even thinks about the peace. No, of course, humanists will be found here, but in a modern setting their voices will not be heard for a long time. The same people who have at least some influence within the republic, in one way or another participate in the war.


For example, in the southeast of the country the Islamic state is still alive. It almost lost everything as a result of the attack of its opponents and was driven to the very edge of the eastern province of Deir ez-Zore. For a long time, no one touched the terrorists who continued to believe in the success of their cause. And it allowed them to firmly settle along the eastern shore of the Euphrates in a small area. Militants, by the way, didn’t show themselves either, they almost didn’t attack, and even informational activity sharply decreased. But now Washington decided to start capturing the “last stronghold” (how many there were such last strongholds no one knows) of ISIS. The attacks on Khadzhin fell one after the other; even propaganda leaflets were dropped on him shortly before the final stage of the operation. However, something went wrong. Khadzhin did not fall, but the militants launched a counterattack and took a dozen settlements from the Kurds with the Americans. Now they are fighting each other without end – the ISIS members climbed much north of Khadzhin and are trying to recapture the oil fields that once belonged to them. Of course, they are trying to stop. In addition, there are also battles on the Iraqi-Syrian border, only here the Iraqi armed formations are fighting the pseudo-caliphate. From this, people die every day, and nobody even thinks about any Constitutional Council here.


The meeting of the presidents of Israel and Russia nevertheless took place.

The same thing happens in another part of Syria – in the north-west. Northern and northeastern Aleppo can not be divided between the Turks, working in tandem with the Free Syrian Army, and the Kurds, who are patronized by the United States. Recently, hostilities resumed on the initiative of Ankara, despite the consent of the Americans to let in Turkish patrols in the vicinity of the long-contested Manbij. At the same time, not far from the capital of the designated province, there are occasional clashes between Kurds and pro-government forces, as well as other oppositionists with the latter.


But the most difficult thing here is the situation with the province of Idlib, which Russia and Turkey have agreed to save from the crisis by peaceful means. On paper, apparently, everything looked great, but in the implementation of the plan all parties faced heavy obstacles.


Turkey could not persuade all the oppositionists and terrorists to move away from the positions of the Syrian Arab army, and it could not force them to hand over heavy weapons. Some, of course, made a deal, but many refused to cooperate. And if we speak for Hayat Tahrir ash-Sham, controlled by Dzhebhat an-Nusra, it announced the continuation of the war altogether, despite any agreements between Erdogan and Putin. Well, the terrorists kept their promise. Last week, the Front of en-Nusra is at war, and at war with all who are not their friend, but still prefer to attack government territories. The Syrian military repeatedly raised this issue, and drew the attention of their Russian and Iranian colleagues to the fact that the conditions of the Sochi treaty are not fulfilled and the demilitarized zone is unlikely to be created in such conditions, in any case, it can hardly be called demilitarized. As a result, Damascus was forced to take action. Initially, the answer was modest – only a reflection of the ground attacks of terrorists, but over time, artillery attacks on Idlib were resumed. And now they are applied very often. Of course, in such circumstances any peace agreement is unlikely to work.


Turkish expert Ender Imrek fears that the current situation may lead to disagreements between Moscow and Ankara.


  • Dzhebhat an-Nusra and its allies attack both those who are outside of Idlib, and those who are next to them in Idlib. They do not support the desire of the parties to peace and all those who adhere to the opposite, they consider enemies. Civilians suffer from this, supporters of peace suffer. In addition, it is very dangerous because it provokes the parties to aggression. The regime has already begun to attack with the help of Idlib aviation. Due to a lack of information, strikes often fall on areas to which Dzhebhat al-Nusra is irrelevant. That is, the opposition is attacked, including those who agreed with Turkey on the procedure for creating a demilitarized zone. And aggression is transmitted along the chain. The opposition will sooner or later respond to these attacks, if not answered already. This can create misunderstandings between Russia and Turkey. It turns out that everyone can blame the other, that he cannot guarantee the fulfillment of the promises enshrined in the contract. Then the agreement is meaningless and inefficient. It will probably end very badly, and things will surely be worse than they were in September.
  • What do you mean?
  • Most likely, heavy fighting will begin. It will be much better if this can be avoided. In this sense, it would be very useful for Russia and Turkey to begin the implementation of a long-announced military operation against terrorist groups that refused to adhere to the terms of the deal. The operation against Jabhat al-Nusra is now very important – it will save the world in this region and give people hope for a peaceful overcoming of the existing crisis.

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