Bashar al Assad visits Idlib, the revolution’s last stronghold

Syrian President Bashar al Assad visits Syrian army troops in war-torn northwestern Idlib province, Syria, in this handout released by SANA on October 22, 2019. SANA/Handout via REUTERS

Bashar al Assad visits Syrian army troops in war-torn northwestern Idlib province, Syria, in this handout released by SANA on October 22, 2019. SANA/Handout via REUTERS

Bashar al-Assad’s visit to Idlib confirms that the dictator opened the way to the destroy Idlib and those in it. The destruction Assad is planning towards the city can manifest itself in weeks or even days. He is feeling secure, especially with Putin next to him, eager to recite his victory speech.  With poor American leadership, Putin and Assad will now write the last line of the story of the Syrian revolution.

Operation Peace Spring, the “safe” zone

On October 17, an agreement was reached between Turkey and the United States on the east of the Euphrates. The agreement meant that “Operation Peace Spring” was suspended for 120 hours, until Tuesday this week.

A Turkish Defense Ministry statement said The United States informed them that the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the safe zone was completed.

The Turkish Defense Ministry statement also said there won’t be a new military operation, except for “Operation Peace Spring,”. This was decided in Sochi by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Tuesday.

“Pursuant to the agreement, which includes principles relating to the security of our borders outside the area of ​​Operation Peace Spring and the removal of the terrorist organization (KBK) for a distance of 30 kilometers, does not require a new operation at this stage, except our current area of ​​operations.”

The Turkish Ministry stressed that Turkey will never allow “the formation of a terrorist corridor at its southern border, and that it will confront the terrorists with determination and force,” “For a peace corridor to be established in the region, we will work to return displaced Syrians to their homes and lands in a safe and voluntary manner,”

Russian-Turkish agreement

It took the Turkish president and his Russian counterpart six hours in Sochi to come to an agreement. Before The two leaders have agreed on the parameters of a proposed Turkish “safe zone” in Syria. Erdoğan hailed the deal as “a historic agreement” while addressing reporters alongside Putin.

“According to this agreement, Turkey and Russia will not allow any separatist agenda on Syrian territory,”

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Sergei Chirikov, pool/AFP via Getty Images
Sergei Chirikov, pool/AFP via Getty Images

The deal was widely perceived as good news for Ankara and a poor result for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). This new agreement was built on the US’ agreement that said Turkey has a right to a buffer zone on its border at their expense. Most of all, it secures Moscow’s new role as prime powerbroker in the Middle East, as US influence in the region wore off. Turkish troops in areas of north-east Syria seized since the start of the 9 October offensive will remain in situ, and Russian troops and the Syrian army will control the rest of the frontier, effectively fulfilling the goal of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring at Russia’s discretion: the dilution of Kurdish control over the 270-mile (440km) border corridor.

Russian military police and Syrian border guards controlled by the forces of Bashar al-Assad, will from Wednesday at noon facilitate the removal of Kurdish fighters and weaponry to the depth of 18 miles from their positions on the border, the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, said after their respective presidents announced the agreement to reporters.

The US will leave the “blood-stained sand” of the Middle East

Trump spoke on Wednesday in a special address from the White House and declared a change of course in US relations with the Middle East, where he said too many American service members had died.

“We’re getting out. Let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand. The job of our military is not to police the world,”

Donald Trump

Trump has been under fire for suddenly withdrawing his troops from northern Syria. Many accused him of abandoning Kurdish forces, one of the US’s main allies in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

Following the pullout, Turkey launched an offensive against Kurdish fighters in the region. Last week, Turkey agreed to a five-day ceasefire to allow Kurdish forces to withdraw from the border area. 

“Other nations must step up and do their fair share,” said Trump of conflict in the region. “I am committed to pursuing a different course, one that leads to victory for America.”

Syria USA Russia Turkey War
U.S. Marines in Al-Tanf (US base), Syria

Russian military replaced the US in Syria 

The Russia-Turkey deal on Tuesday sealed the return of Russia’s ally President Bashar al Assad’s forces along the northeastern border for the first time in years. It also marked Moscow’s deepening influence in the region two weeks after the United States started to pull out forces from Syria. The balance of power in Syria’s years-long war has shifted significantly since Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops on October 6.

Russian military police deployed on the streets of Syria’s northeast border town of Kobane on Thursday. This was executed under a deal with Turkey to drive out Kurdish fighters.

Moscow will send 276 military policemen and 33 units to Syria in a week. Their arrival marked the start of a mission by Russian and Syrian security forces to push Kurdish fighters 30km (19 miles) into Syria under an accord reached between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Assad: “the Idlib battle is the core”

Syrian President Bashar al Assad visits Syrian army troops in war-torn northwestern Idlib province, Syria, in this handout released by SANA on October 22, 2019. SANA/Handout via REUTERS
Syrian President Bashar al Assad visits Syrian army troops in war-torn northwestern Idlib province, Syria, in this handout released by SANA on October 22, 2019. SANA/Handout via REUTERS

During a visit to an area in war-torn northwestern Idlib, Bashar al Assad denounced Turkey’s leader as a thief. Assad was spotted with army commanders and soldiers in the town Hobeit. The army took Hobeit in August as part of a Russian-led offensive to capture Idlib and its surroundings. With the war in its eighth year, capturing the Idlib area could be an important victory for Assad. He has steadily reclaimed control of rebellious areas with Russian and Iranian support.

“We said and continue to say that the Idlib battle is the core to decisively end chaos and terrorism in all of Syria,”

Bashar al Assad

Turkey and Russia had brokered a de-escalation zone deal in 2017 to repress fighting in Idlib. It does not cover jihadist militants who are the dominant force in the area. Many of the 500,000 people uprooted by the fighting in the northwest have fled toward the Turkish border. The violence in Idlib province and Hama has marked the biggest military escalation between Assad and his “rebel” enemies since last summer.

Gepubliceerd door Yasser Alahwal

Experienced Journalist with a demonstrated history of working in the management consulting industry. Skilled in Negotiation, Analytical Skills, Microsoft Word, Sales, and Team Building. Strong media and communication professional with a Bachelor's degree focused in Media from Damascus University.

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