The Astana 3 had agreed that Turkey would have a set amount of time to "convince” HTS to lay down arms.
To not wage war against SAA.
It's being reported that Turkey, last week, designated HTS a terror group.
Which indicates a negotiations fail.
Despite what some may think, this is quite likely, not a good sign for Idlib, Syria, Russia, Iran, Turkey, civilians or the situation in Syria as it pertains to taking back the east. And that more smooth return I had hoped for!
-Not a perfect return.
-Not a bloodless return.
Since, that was never going to be the case.
Just a more controlled return with a minimum of chaos that could be kept in check.
As stated August 09/2018:How Russia, Turkey, and Iran are Going to Avoid a Battle for Idlib
“Going by some of the reports I've read today it looks as if Iran, Russia and Turkey are trying to AVOID a battle for Idlib.
If Syria were to simply rush in and battle for Idlib as some persons suggest, the US and their PKK allies would take advantage of the chaos that would surely result. And Rojova will extend ever closer to the Mediterranean. Which is what the US and Israel both want!
It's really much more beneficial for regional stability that the Astana partners work together to deal with the Idlib situation in a more measured, careful manner. That's my opinion. And to my mind it makes much more sense for the actual preservation of Syrian sovereignty.”
This terror designation by Turkey, signals, to my mind, that what I had hoped would occur is not likely to.
Of course I'm still hoping for the best possible outcome for Syria. And the region as a whole. But with reservations at this point.
Hayat Tarir al Sham is still and always was Usrael’s proxy. Which is why the negotiations with Turkey on behalf of the Astana 3 went no where. Nowhere at all. And they were never going to. Perhaps Turkey hoped they still had some influence as a NATO member?
But, nah. What with Turkey wearing the bullseye on the back of it's collective nationhood.
With some arrows already embedded......... The sanctions arrow. The coup arrow.
The tariff arrow. The CIA Minister Brunson arrow. Gulen's arrow. One could predict the failure coming.
I should have picked a bullseye with more arrows!
HTS Stands Alone & Jersualem Post
JP: “But on Friday, (August 31/18) Turkey declared HTS a terrorist organization.”
The stage is set for confrontation in Idlib, as Syrian regime forces surround the last rebel bastion and a Russian naval fleet sits vigilant off the Mediterranean coast.
Exactly how the battle in the northern province will play out remains uncertain. But it is becoming increasingly clear that a day of reckoning is approaching for one of the most powerful militant groups in Syria — the former Al Qaeda-affiliate Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS).
The group’s approximately 30,000 fighters control nearly two thirds of the province, and despite many attempts to rebrand and embed itself within the Syrian opposition, it stands alone and opposed by all the major powers with a stake in the civil war, facing its most serious threat to survival yet.
Ankara has sought to delay (not prevent) an attack by trying to convince HTS to dissolve and join a coalition of Turkish-backed rebels. But the group’s leadership has resisted those calls, and instead vowed to fight on.JP: Covers the relatively smooth transition I'd hoped for and written about in a series of posts starting August 9 -relinked above.
Followed up with 3 additional posts on the topic:
JP: So how will the offensive unfold? The Syrian regime wants it to be quick, with overwhelming force and not too many casualties. Pressure will mount on Turkey if refugees flee. Chemical attacks could lead to US air strikes. But those air strikes will be made more complex by the presence of a massive Russian fleet that has warned its drills are “dangerous for air traffic” in the area.
The Syrian regime hopes Russia has already brokered a deal with Ankara to allow it to crush HTS and divide Idlib, such that Turkey will likely retain some influence with existing rebel factions that it supports as HTS is dismantled. This could all go smoothly. It is Moscow’s ability to actually broker the division of Idlib that is being tested. Moscow tested its abilities to broker cease-fires in southern Syria in July. Now it has a bigger challenge.
“The weapons of the revolution and jihad ... are a red line on which concessions are unacceptable, and they will never be put on the negotiations table,” HTS chief Abu Mohamed Al Jolani said last month. “As soon as one of us thinks about negotiating over their weapons, they will have lost them,” he added in a video posted online.
In response, Turkey officially designated the group a terror organisation on Friday
Turkey could stand aside ( hence my use of "green lights") for a limited government offensive against HTS in return for the regime leaving Turkish presence in Idlib untouched for now.
“HTS has positioned itself in such a way that it's seemingly impossible to come after it without a huge humanitarian cost and really grave damage to Turkish interests,” Sam Heller, a senior analyst at Crisis Group, told The National.Gosh, which party/ies would want to have a huge humanitarian cost and gravely damage Turkey?? Along with Syria, Russia and Iran???
Let’s see what party...........
1- Fomented a coup
2- Waged financial warfare
3- Conducted Kangaroo court cases
4- Instigated Sanctions
5- Manipulated money markets
“So even if all these interested parties want to neutralise HTS, there aren't a lot of obvious answers for how they can do it,” he added. (Sam Heller)
Who/ how will the chaos be re-ordered?