Idlib will be split into two

US, WASHINGTON (NEWS OBSERVATORY) — As part of the agreements reached on March 5 in Moscow between Turkey and Russia, a ceasefire was announced in Idlib. Dr. Naim Babüroğlu, a former brigadier general, commented on this agreement, highlighting seven points.

1. The conflict between Turkey and Russia was averted, and this is very important. This is actually laid down in the spirit of a truce.

2. The conflict with the Syrian government was “not for long”, I want to emphasize this, has been postponed. Since it is stipulated that in the event of any attack, the parties reserve the right to self-defense. Idlib is a region where there are many provocateurs. And it is very likely that as a result of provocations of terrorist groups located there or for other reasons, we will soon see, if not some extremely harsh, fierce clash between Turkey and the Syrian government, but some signs of conflict, such as the destruction of air defense systems, tanks, planes.

3. By this ceasefire agreement, Idlib is divided into two parts. A safe zone is being created with a width of six kilometers south and six kilometers north of the M4 highway of strategic importance between Latakia and Aleppo. However, creating this zone will be extremely difficult.

There are terrorist organizations with very developed combat skills, which arrived from Central Asia, China and are included in the list of UN terrorist organizations, for example, the Islamic Party of Turkestan.

They are strong south and north of the M4 highway. Therefore, I think that creating a safe zone will not be easy, it will take a lot of time and there will be some clashes. Therefore, we can say that Idlib will be divided into two parts, south and north of the M4 highway.

4. Another important issue. From March 01, 00, all actions, including the transfer of forces, ground and air operations, should stop on the contact line. All will remain in the places where they are.

The Syrian army was supposed to retreat from Turkish observation posts, in accordance with the Sochi memorandum of 2018, this does not happen.

However, Turkey is also not withdrawing its forces. The contingent deployed for reinforcement will remain in Idlib.

“Possible provocations”

5. It is also important that Turkey and Russia conduct joint patrols. The two countries will patrol the M4 highway together. This is important in terms of monitoring ceasefire.

6. This agreement will not ensure a long-term ceasefire. Putin said the fight against terrorist organizations recognized as such by the UN will continue. This means that operations against Khayyat Tahrir al-Sham, and other terrorist organizations will continue. Since these terrorist organizations are also open to various kinds of provocations, the region may again find itself in a ring of fire.

7. The United States clearly does not like the ceasefire that has been reached, and in the future the United States may exclude HTS from the list of terrorist organizations and try to get HTS removed from the UN list. In the future, just as today they openly provide assistance to the Kurdistan / Democratic Union Party, they will do the same here, fueling the conflict.


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Article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by News Observatory staff in our US newsroom.