Interesting news article at PBS- Syria's Rebel Idlib Prepares for A Losing Battle
I’m opting to leave out the spin and that which is rubbish in my opinion and go for as factual an accounting as can be extracted from the 5 eyes media.
“A wide offensive is only likely after a green light from Russia. But delicate diplomatic moves are at work. Moscow is keen on strengthening ties with Turkey, at a time when Ankara’s relations are at their lowest with the United States. Turkey, by calling on the United States and Europe for support, seems to be playing on that interest to pressure Russia to accept its proposals for a solution on Idlib that avoids an attack.”
On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets for the second time in 10 days with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, this time in Sochi, Russia.As reported the other day:
“After proving its influence in Syria and the Middle East, Russia wants to pull Turkey away from the West much more than achieve a military victory over the armed Syrian opposition,” Mustafa Ellabbad, an expert on Turkish-Arab relations, wrote in Kuwait’s al-Qabas newspaper.I think Russia wants a "victory" however that's defined and yes, also good relations with Turkey. - Why not, they share the same 'hood.
Russia and Syria moved fighters and others aplenty to Idlib
The province, the size of Lebanon, has been the beating heart of the rebellion for years. In rebel hands since 2015, it is the largest contiguous territory they controlled.
The Turkish reinforcements are going to 12 observation points that Ankara set up around Idlib last year under a deal with Russia and Iran creating a “de-escalation zone.”
I’ve mentioned all the outposts, Iranian and Russian, not just the 12 Turkish ones, in two separate posts- PBS claims that reinforcements are going to the observation posts- The outposts have been manned since last year.
The posts were discussed twice last month. Here and here.
If Syrian forces retake Idlib with no agreement on the fate of the opposition fighters, they could threaten the Turkey-controlled enclave, and Ankara would lose credibility with the fighters and leverage with Damascus on any future deal.Is there no way that Russia and Syria can cushion this operation for Turkey? I think it's possible by undertaking a more controlled, measured operation in Idlib - And have mentioned repeatedly the advantages to all parties in doing this. Save for the US and their proxies.
“There is really no way for the Syrian military and Damascus’ allies to launch a military offensive on Idlib that doesn’t have deeply negative, injurious effects on Turkey. There is no real way they can cushion this for Turkey,” said Sam Heller, a Syria expert in the Brussels-based International Crisis Group.
Turkey’s strategy in the opposition areas has been complicated by the presence of radical fighters. By backing the National Front, it argued it can draw fighters away from the al-Qaida-linked HTS, the dominant power in the province, forcing it to dissolve and creating a new opposition force ready to negotiate with the Syrian government.
The strategy has had limited success.
The National Front in recent months gained control of territory in Idlib from HTS, which still controls nearly 70 percent of the province. HTS began to show signs of splits and two weeks ago, Turkey declared it a terrorist group.As reported here at the blog- probably two weeks ago or nearly so.
September 04/18: Turkey Green Lights Syria/Russian Idlib Op - Hayat Tarir Al Sham Designated A Terror Group
"But with the onset of a military offensive, HTS has set up joint operation rooms with different National Front factions.Recall my mentioning that HTS was no friend to Turkey?- Hence the lack of cooperation.
The HTS spokesman in Idlib said now was not the time to talk about dissolving into Turkish-backed rebel groups. He underlined that an arrangement must eventually be made for the foreign fighters in the group"
Hence the inability for Turkey to get them to dissolve into the Turkish backed rebels- Since HTS is beholden to different masters (US/UK/Israel) Turkey was destined to fail in resolving this problem.
"Syrian forces and Iranian-backed militias are likely to avoid a clash with the Turkish troops"No advantage to fighting with them. And as my hubby just stated it's possible this was always the end game. As in Turkey, Russia, Iran and Syria had an Idlib plan all ready to go.
That's why I love that guy :)
“Assad and Russia gave the choice to the international community: First we kill everybody. Second thing, (they said) if you want to protect (Idlib) then take those people you think are nice … It is cynical but puts the international community before its contradictions,” said Balanche.Repeating:
Second thing, (they said) if you want to protect (Idlib) then take those people you think are nice … It is cynical but puts the international community before its contradictions,” said Balanche.
I like the idea of putting the international community before (in front of) it’s contradictions.
It’s very just. It’s in fact an ideal concept- Oh, you don’t want these “nice” people. ??
Oh, dear, the nice people as is claimed are not so nice. Perfect.
The international community gets it's just deserts
I've been talking this topic up at Nomadic Everyman
Including the fact that no humanitarian corridors had been set up prior to the alleged start of Idlib operation that was supposed to have occurred over a week ago- Russia didn't blink. Turkey didn't impede it. No one did. The operation wasn't ready to go.
Additionally:Ziad at Syper has also reported today- September 16/2018
Consider the fact that humanitarian corridors had not been established tells us there was no operation ready to go.
Considering humanitarian corridors precede the military operations- as a rule in Syria.
take care Scott!
THE GREAT EXODUS: Uighers, Uzbekis, Chechens, Daghestaanis and a few Albanians are heading north with their families to the Turk border to avoid what they know to be the inevitable push to exterminate them. They are moving their families out of harm’s way. The actual number is not known, but, the Turks are allowing them in as long as they leave the country permanently.Humanitarian corridors may now be in place as Lavrov said they would be:
Another wave of emigration is also taking place, except, this one is heading south to the areas controlled by the SAA. These are the actual citizens of Idlib who want nothing to do with the terrorists who are planning their own Masada in Idlib. Some are successfully using the Russian humanitarian corridors to escape despite repeated threats of retaliation from the terrorist grubs.
September 14th post: Russia and Turkey working out humanitarian corridors
Russian foreign minister says talks are underway between Turkish and Russian officials on Syria’s Idlib
A humanitarian corridor will be created in Syria’s Idlib to prevent civilian casualties, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.🙋Russia, Iran, Turkey and Syria might just have played this very smart
We'll know more tomorrow - Let's hope the US doesn't get any dangerous ideas?
Columnist Nedret Ersanel wrote to pro-government Yeni Şafak daily.
"The political pressure of the West couldn't spoil the Astana peace talks," Ersenal noted, "that's why all the discussion are held within the framework of the alliance."
According to Ersanal, Russian airstrikes in Idlib do not serve a disagreement between Russia and Turkey; instead, airstrikes represent Russia's support for Turkey and "reminders of the tight schedule" to solve Idlib problem.
Right after the diplomatic contacts between Germany-France-Turkey-Russia delegation on Friday, the Kremlin announced that there would be an Erdogan-Putin meeting on Sept. 17, only ten days after Tehran Summit!- is an evidence of proceeding to a different phase about Idlib.
"It seems that the 'design' and 'mechanisms' of what will be done in Idlib is arranged," Ersanel added"It's looking as if what ever the Astana 3 have planned for this stage of settling up Idlib is arranged. This goes back to hubby's idea of a plan already in place for Idlib, which is why terrorists were moved there. All spin aside.