Yesterday, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that Russian airborne forces carried out a point airstrike on the city of Idlib in coordination with Turkey. The target of the Russian military was a warehouse with weapons and ammunition of one of the terrorist groups. As it turns out, the militants brought a large batch of drone unmanned aerial vehicles to attack the Russian Khmeimim airbase.
This time the participation of the Russian military was not hidden. Unlike the situaton, when on Monday, the Russian Ministry of Defense had to refute the information about striking everyone in the same Syrian province of Idlib. Shortly before this, some Syrian and Arab media outlets spread a message about strikes by Russian Aero Space Forces against militant positions, later some Russian media picked up the news. And the latter cited references to some of their own sources. Recently, such information leaks quite often.
In fact, everything is logical. Now the main problem of Idlib is the military activity of the terrorist organization Dzhebhat an-Nusra. It did not join the Russian-Turkish agreement, which should have made the above-mentioned province a regular de-escalation zone. The reason for this is not only the terrorists’ own unwillingness to go for a truce with the Russian Federation and Turkey.
The fact is that from the very beginning Putin and Erdogan did not consider the possibility of attracting militants to the peace settlement process, however there is one nuance – Ankara nevertheless undertook the mission to reconcile the Dzhebhat an-Nusra fighters. But nothing happened. Even Moscow has repeatedly drawn the attention of Turkish colleagues to the mayhem that militants are doing in the area of de-escalation and even in the demilitarized zone. Ankara tried many things. First, she urged the group to dissolve itself and go to its members in the countries of origin. Then there were, according to various sources, attempts to organize the transfer of individual members of the formation to the pro-Turkish National Liberation Front, which includes the main opposition groups in northwestern Syria. Despite the fact that some individuals previously convicted of working for Nusra today are members of the NLF, the whole idea has failed.
After that, there were even minor clashes between the Turks and the terrorists, but this was rather due to the desire of Ankara to clear particularly important areas of Idlib province for its military. In the end, nothing yielded results. Absolutely everyone suffers from the actions of militants: government forces, the opposition, and, of course, civilians.
And it seems that at the moment the only party that at least somehow seeks to really solve the problem is Damascus. The Syrian Arab Army, being a limited Russian-Turkish agreement, still seeks to overcome terrorism in Idlib. Thus, in recent weeks dozens of strikes have been inflicted on various settlements of the province. But in the south and east, not far from the city of Aleppo, land clashes occur from time to time. Why is this happening? Why does Assad, being an ally of the Kremlin, violate the terms of the agreements reached by Moscow and Ankara? Even Russian Ministry of Defense denies any involvement in what is happening in Idlib, while in Damascus they regularly tell about their successes. Does this mean that, due to its diplomacy, the Russian Federation will sooner or later remain out of work?
Russian military expert Alexei Leonkov believes that Russia’s non-intervention is connected with the desire to solve the problem with the world, because a tough military method now will not give the desired result.
– There is always a military solution, but almost always there is a peaceful one. Peace, unfortunately, is implemented for a long time, but it is still better than the military. Radical methods will be able to solve individual issues in a short time, but it will not be possible to solve the underlying problems. So you can cut only the top, but the roots will remain intact. And from these roots will grow some new weeds and so on. It can last forever. Therefore, the rate on a peaceful solution, namely the pacification of the region, is more profitable.
This is exactly what Moscow has made now. Now in Idlib there is such a task that in the future there would be no ground for the emergence of such groups as ISIS or Dzhebhat an-Nusra. And I believe that Jabhat al-Nusra to some extent serves the interests of Saudi Arabia and, possibly, Israel in the SAR.
But if he is a weak leader without the ability to achieve his goals, including tough measures, he is unlikely to be elected. And then the moment of obscurity will come. Maybe in power will be some kind of supervised CIA person. What s then? So, this independence of Assad should be viewed as a completely logical development of Russian-Syrian relations.