Friday, August 10, 2018

Turkey and Russia Coordinate for the Move on Idlib- Moving Terrorists Eastward?

I'm not using the Janes lingo of Russia pressuring Turkey.

 There is no need for "pressure"  since Russia, Turkey and Iran have coordinated all this time via their Astana partnership.

Erdogan and Putin were in contact today and it's very likely Idlib was discussed along with the situation with the Turkish lira- I'm going to get to that asap. For now Idlib.


Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey have positively assessed the implementation of joint projects, in particular in the energy sector, the Kremlin press service said on Friday after their telephone conversation.

The presidents discussed the current state and prospects for further development of mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation between the two countries," the Kremlin said. "They positively assessed the implementation of joint strategic projects, first of all, in the energy sector."

The two leaders also discussed a schedule for further contacts at various levels.

A source in the Turkish president’s administration told journalists earlier that the two presidents had discussed latest development in Syria and settlement efforts in the Astana format.


Key Points

1- IHS Markit data indicates that non-state armed groups that we have classified as ‘jihadist opposition’ have been contained by Turkey and its proxies in a pocket of control around Idlib. 

2-Turkey is likely to yield to pressure from Russia, which effectively controls airspace over Idlib, to withdraw its observation posts from this area ahead of a major government operation. 

Recall the observation posts featured in yesterday's article? How Russia, Turkey, and Iran are Going to Avoid a Battle for Idlib

Here they are again

 Turkish outposts are situated just inside the provincial borders of Idlib. While Russian and Iranians are just outside of the borders. With Russia effectively controlling the airspace they are coordinating with the Turkish military, who are manning the outposts, to have them evacuate the outposts ahead of the Syrian offensive. 

According to Janes- the Turks have contained the opposition in a pocket of Idlib. And with the tacit, more probably the active & helpful,  approval of the Syrian government. The jihadists are going east.  To territory occupied by Americans and PKK. Wagons ho!

3-Jihadists will probably seek to transfer to eastern Syria, with tacit acceptance if not active facilitation by the government, to increase pressure on the US-led coalition to leave Syria.

As I had stated yesterday in my post:

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.
I'd also left a comment regarding this situation at Syper's 
that ended with this observation
"My hope is Idlib is cleared and returned to the Syria state- This will take much wind out of the PKK/US sails in the east. IMO Kurdish ‘negotiations’ with Damascus have been somewhat disingenuous. (Buying time)"
 If the Russians, Iranians, Turks and Syrians coordinate to shift the terrorists out of Idlib and into the occupied east- It could encourage the US to give up the occupation. It will also give many of the mercs/terrorist/killers  a way out of  Syria via Iraq.  From there they can head who knows where? Time will tell.

Update # 1: Russian-Turkish Coordination on Limited Idlib Battle
It is an unnamed source, but, in this case the reports fit everything I've covered the past couple of days

 A Russian source told Asharq Al-Awsat Thursday that the expected visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Ankara early next week comes in light of information about a possible agreement between concerned parties to facilitate the control of Syria’s Idlib province without causing huge damages.

Despite a Syrian military preparation to start the battle of Idlib, the Russian source said, “There could be an agreement to facilitate the takeover of Idlib without causing immense damages.”
“We expect a mixed military operation in Idlib that would reflect complex alliances,” the source said in a sign that any agreement in the province would probably be a reproduction of the scenario of control implemented in the south of Syria, amid differences among rebels concerning the role of Jabhat al-Nusra.

He said that a large number of opposition fighters could join the Syrian Army and the Russians to confront al-Nusra and its allied forces. “We would witness an alliance of the fait accompli on the ground,” the source explained.

Jan Egland UN Advisor said “The war cannot be allowed to go to Idlib. Idlib is a very special place, it is the place where people fled”

As was covered in yesterday's post; The UN Senior Advisor for Syria Jan Egeland says Russia, Turkey, and Iran told UN humanitarian meeting that they would do their utmost to avoid a battle for Idlib.


  1. Totally cool that Penny for your thoughts has come up with an optimistic senario for the future of Idlib. So many of his past posts on Syria have been scarry forcasts of doom for the heroic righteous Syrian army and Nation. I hope and pray that the Syrian Army will retake Idlib with a minimum of USA British and UN and Israel opposition. It is amazng that Turkey is cooperating with any plan that has the Syrian Army making territorial gains in Idlib.

    1. tom byers: "So many of his past posts on Syria have been scarry forcasts of doom"

      Quite sure you've not read here or you wouldn't have made that statement!

      "It is amazing that Turkey is cooperating with any plan that has the Syrian Army making territorial gains in Idlib. "

      If you'd been reading along, for real, you'd be aware that Turkey has been cooperating for some time with Russia and Iran , in aid of Syria. Including, but not limited to the return of Aleppo..

      I'd like to think that you've been a long term reader of what is actually been written here, but, clearly you are not

      However, let's hope Idlib is returned to Syria!