Has Turkey made a shift in Idlib?

Idlib, that Syrian northern city that shares vast borders with Turkey (around 130 kilometers) and which is overpopulated due to displacement and the increasing number of those seeking refuge there as according to today’s estimates, the population there today is around 4 million people, may be the final chapter in the Syrian tragedy.

Everyone knows that Iran, Russia and Bashar’s forces have for years adopted the approach of driving all armed Islamized factions, primarily Al-Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda) and other armed wings in support of Turkey from Syria’s center, south and west towards the far north, Idlib. Everyone knew that this paves way to slaughter the fundamentalist sheep on the altar of political games which Turkey has participated in as much as Iran, and of course Russia.

American President Donald Trump’s warnings and threats against a tragedy in Idlib and a “reckless offensive” will not change the agreements reached by the Astana tripartite, Moscow, Ankara and Tehran, along with Bashar’s regime. They will meet next Friday to inaugurate the major offensive on Idlib.

The world and Syria will be much better in the absence of al-Julani, al-Nusra, ISIS and their likes but does launching the promised attack on Idlib mean eradicating the roots of the problem?

Mashari Althaydi

Alright, in order to be clear, al-Julani and his followers certainly deserve to wage war on and to be annihilated, as the case is with every takfirist terrorist and with ISIS, the Houthis, the Iraqi Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

The world and Syria will be much better in the absence of Gal-Julani, Al-Nusra, ISIS and their likes but does launching the promised attack on Idlib mean eradicating the roots of the problem and preventing the birth of a future environment that summons the likes of al-Julani, Adnani and these other sick men? This is another topic. Back to Idlib. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the situation in Idlib could not be tolerated “indefinitely.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described the situation in Idlib as a time-bomb and warned – like the rest of the Europeans – of the West’s reaction to Bashar’s use of chemical weapons. Syrian Deputy-Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad reassured him during an interview with Syria TV and said: “Why would we use them? Normal weapons are enough!”

Has Turkey made a shift in Idlib?

A report published in Anadolu Agency, that’s close to the Turkish Erdogan authority, published a map that showed the powers in control of Idlib. According to it, there are two parties in Idlib, a party that Turkey is pleased with and another that Turkey is no longer pleased with and that is al-Julani’s group.

According to Anadolu’s report, the first party consists of the National Front for Liberation and is made up of around 70,000 fighters. It’s thus the largest opposition force against the Syrian regime.

The second party, al-Julani’s group (Tahrir al-Sham) which the UN blacklisted as a terror group (this was noted in Anadolu’s report) consists of around 25,000 fighters who control the Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing with Turkey.

The Russians’ stance is not strange, the concealed international authorization mandating its war per the Russian way and Iran’s stance are also not strange but what’s strange is the Turkish beloved stance! A salutation to the poor and simple people in Syria and in the camps and diaspora.

This article is also available in Arabic.

Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi @MAlthaydy presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “Views on the News” daily show, “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & the Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.

Last Update: 17:57 KSA 20:57 - GMT 17:57
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