Immediately after the Sochi meeting between Putin and Erdogan, there were dozens of comments from various experts on how greatly the leadership of the Russia played the Idlib card. Russians saved themselves from numerous complications. Now Russia will not have to “take a punch”, because the States and their allies will have nothing more to do. Well, in part this is true.
Indeed, after this event, the talk about chemical weapons somehow abruptly came to naught, although before that Washington and all the others almost guaranteed another inhuman attack by the “dictator Assad”. And the Turks were seriously going to declare war against the Syrian Arab army, since there is no other way to contain Assad. How would Moscow get out of this pile of problems? Perhaps in the future this question will arise again, but for now the Kremlin may devote itself to more important issues. It seems to be reasonable, seemingly successful. But in the medium term, as some analysts assumed, this agreement with Ankara could lead to even more unpleasant consequences.
The fact is that in this situation there is not only Russia and only Turkey. There are still dozens of pro-Turkish and anti-Russian (it was possible to call them anti-Assad, but in the case of Syria, this is the same as the synonyms – author) groups. Yes, they have recently idolized Erdogan, while not loving Putin. These gangs may not be too serious a military force, but it is at their expense that Turkey ensures its presence in Syria, so that, whatever one may say, they are quite influential. They recently proved it in action.
Thus, according to the terms of the Sochi treaty, the Russian and Turkish military were to patrol the demilitarized zone together. Recall that the demilitarized zone is fully part of the territory controlled by the opposition. There are to this day its troops and even terrorist groups that have sworn al-Qaeda. The Turks seem to have taken away some of them with heavy machinery, but for others it remained in decent quantities. For example, the renamed Dzhebhat-en-Nusra still owns everything that it owned before.
In general, nothing has been decided in this zone, but the mentioned patrols should start working in the near future. However, now there are high risks that the Russian military police and other representatives may not be allowed to enter the demilitarized zone.
Immediately after the meeting in Sochi, the opposition began to protest against any Russian presence in Idlib. The Turks were silent at first, but it seems they nevertheless gave way to the militants. So, one of these days, one of the leaders of the National Liberation Front (a coalition of the Syrian armed opposition created by Turkey). Umar Husayfa said that the main demand of the opposition was to prevent Russian soldiers from entering Idlib. In any role – both peacekeepers, and patrols. And the Turks gave their consent, in any case, Husayf said that the last position of Ankara is to agree to this condition of the militants. As if the Turkish military even guaranteed that there would be no Russians in Idlib at all.
Not very friendly from the Turks. Everything, of course, can change many times, but for now we have it. Erdogan doesn’t need serious problems with Moscow, however, he cannot push the opposition either, otherwise the question will immediately arise to him, on what grounds and for what is his army trampling idlibian land? How will he get out?
Russian specialists are closely following the negotiations of opposition groups with official and unofficial representatives of Turkey. The Turks themselves provide information about what they plan to do with this or that formation. Now joint actions are planned against individual terrorist groups. There were attempts to disarm them without the use of force, but failed. So the weapon will start talking soon.
However, now the Russian side is embarrassed by the fact that many terrorists leave their groups and join the ranks of the National Liberation Front. It seems that the people of Erdogan oversee this process. As for the patrols – the question is delayed. Ankara did receive an offer not to rush to prepare Russian people for these purposes. They are motivated by the instability of areas bordering government territories. At the moment, this condition has been accepted, especially recently Russian military has been busy with other issues related to the Syrian-Israeli conflict.
The officers are allowed into the territory and are given the right to perform their functions before the elections, otherwise the military operation is inevitable. So Moscow has its own concrete plan, therefore, no one has any particular unrest on the subject of Turkish amateur performance.