Wednesday, September 5, 2018

3 Idlib Battle Scenarios

In yesterday's post I mentioned that the Turkish move to label HTS as a "terror group" was a green light for the move on Idlib. Some version of an advance on Idlib, to be made by the Astana 3. Clearly, the US and co. have their own ideas.

Last month I'd been hoping for a more restrained, controlled return of the Syria's land. But that doesn't appear to have worked out as hoped. Al Jazeera has an interesting article covering the 3 possible battle for Idlib scenarios.
Image from here

Scenario 1- The first one is that Turkey and Russia would agree to uphold the de-escalation zone in Idlib, providing that Turkey deal with the HTS problem. Over the past several months, Turkey has been trying to persuade the HTS to dissolve itself and melt within the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army factions.
As reported yesterday- that failed. 

Scenario 2-  If Turkey fails to deal with the HTS, the second scenario becomes very probable. It would allow for a limited Russian-led military action in Idlib to take out the HTS and other "radical" groups. Given the high population density in the area, Russia and even the Syrian regime seem to be trying to avoid a massive military attack - something that Iran would like to undertake.
 It was a given the Astana 3 had alternative plans- Recall my comment in yesterday's post?

fyi: I changed the post headline to reflect that the whatever Turkey, Russia, Iran & Syria have worked out should the HTS negotiations have failed, regarding Idlib, will move ahead.

It's my opinion there would have been multiple plans to deal with multiple contingencie

So we might be looking at some type of limited action in Idlib akin to a Scenario 2 for the Astana 3. The US and co would most likely be going for Scenario 3.

The Astana 3 plans are likely to be discussed and  hopefully agreed upon in Iran on the 7th of September. Covered here :A Landmark Caspian Sea Agreement. Tabriz Talks & Obstructing NATO?
MOSCOW, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Russia’s deputy foreign minister said on Wednesday that the military situation in the Syrian rebel-held province of Idlib would become clearer after a summit in Tehran on Friday, the TASS news agency reported.
I think the situation from a military point of view will become clearer after, among other things, the leaders of the three guarantor states (Russia, Iran, Turkey) hold talks on Friday (September 7),” Sergei Ryabkov told a news conference.

 Al Jaz- Scenario 3, the all out battle scenario :"The third and the most feared scenario is an all-out offensive in Idlib. This scenario is unlikely at this stage because it is very costly both politically and militarily. It would also lead to a humanitarian disaster, a massive refugee crisis and destruction at a large scale. It would destroy the evolving partnership between Russia and Turkey and lead to the collapse of the Astana process.
It will put more pressure on the already strained Russian-European relations as it would lead to a new wave of refugees. The US has also warned against a massive attack in Idlib and stated that it would intervene in case chemical weapons are used."
Lastly, an all-out attack in Idlib runs counter to the new Russian strategy, aiming at returning the Syrian refugees back home and starting the reconstruction process with aid from Europe and the Gulf states.
Image from here

All the death and destruction that would result in a full out military action would be very negative from a public relations point of view- Which could work against Russia and Syria and may explain the slow measured moves thus far in Idlib. An all out attack would work against the Russian strategy of returning Syrian refugees and getting reconstruction started.

In yesterday's post it was suggested via a bunch of questions just which party/ies would benefit from the worst case scenario... No one answered the question- though the answer is very obvious. At least, it is obvious in my opinion?

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
 The beneficiaries are Israel. US. UK. First and foremost.


Scenario 1 failed. Unsurprisingly.
Scenario 2 is most probable but we'll have a better idea in a couple of days
Scenario 3 is the most beneficial to the coalition aka the terror trio of Israel, US, UK.
In fact the US and coalition allies are doing all they can to create a scenario 3 situation.

Some news from today:

1-UN Security Council Meeting Friday requested by Nikki Haley

 The U.N. Security Council will hold a meeting on Friday on the situation in Syria’s Idlib province, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday, warning Syria’s government not to use chemical weapons ahead of a widely expected military offensive there.

“If there are chemical weapons that are used, we know exactly who’s going to use them,” Haley said.
↓- Not a surprise- actually as would be expected

2-US takes advantage of Idlib crisis to increase support for PKK/YPG in Syria

The Washington administration is increasing arms support to the YPG/PKK terror group by using the conflict in Idlib for its own political and military interests
The U.S., taking advantage of the rising tensions in last-opposition-held stronghold of Idlib, is sending military reinforcements to areas occupied by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terror group east of the Euphrates River in Syria.
It delivered 200 truckloads of ammunition on Tuesday to Syria’s Raqqa, which is currently under the occupation of the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
From here


  1. Al Jazeera lost any credibility it may have had in my books when in videos and editorials it blamed the assassination of DPR leader Aleksandr Zakharchenko on "inside fighting" in the DPR about "blaming the victim".

    1. Al Jaz is like all other 5 eyes media-
      There 3 battles for Idlib scenarios are very realistic- grounded in reality- As mentioned scenario 1 failed.

      I think that Russia, Iran & Turkey (astana3) want Scenario2- serves their interests

      I think the US and co want Scenario 3 because it serves their interests the very best.

      I've no problem with those concept

    2. Russia already discussing human evacs. Same scenario in Aleppo: Russians live stream the checks, like Ghouta.

      Russia Warns Against U.S. Military Action, Live-Streams Syria Operation to Clear Ghouta

      On Thursday, Sergey Lavrov reiterated Russia’s criticism of the US presence in the area of At-Tanf, which is located on Syria’s border with Jordan. US troops unilaterally declared it under its protection in April 2017, and, according to the Russian minister, “very strange things are happening there.” These include armed groups getting shelter and a chance to recover in the Rukban refugee camp, which is located in the US-controlled area, after which they “continue hostilities in violation of all ceasefire agreements,” Lavrov said.

    3. Next? replay 2016
      Syria conflict: Schoolchildren killed in Idlib air raids - BBC News

    4. Hey anonymous:
      I expect there will be plenty of 'reruns' in Idlib-
      I've noticed Aleppo has been bandied around a whole lot so.....

  2. And now the UK has dragged that dead horse [the Skripal poisoning] out and have started beating it again...saying that two Russian agents entered the UK and poisoned the Skripals. Moscow says the names of the agents means nothing to them. The UK is ground zero for evil on this planet, IMO.

    1. Yah, GC, the timing of the Skripal reboot is perfectly timed to rehash the chemical weapons/ bad russia meme.

      As GWB said gotta repeat to catapult the propaganda