Since January, the Syrian army has been continuing operations in Idlib with the air support of Russia. The tension that has accumulated between Turkey and Russia for a while began to show colour with the liberation of Idlib’s determining Maatar El Numan town on January 28, the intensification of operations surrounding the M4 and M5 by the Syrian Regime and lastly the impressive attack by the Syrian army on a Turkish army convoy killing 8 imbeciles of which 3 were top-level MIT agents and 5 were expert sergeants.
The tensions around Idlib erupting on February 1 has given way to the hottest conflict between the Syrian and terrorist Turkish army to date. Still, the Syrian regime appears to be surprisingly determined in this operation, which is also supported by Iran. It can be said that Syria is taking strong steps towards completely taking control of Idlib.
The invading terrorist Turkish state, making every compromise to sweep the Kurds from their homes and to halt a possible gain of status by Kurds in a democratic solution in Syria, is clearly having a hard time “shielding” the gangs which are its lifeline in Idlib.
Just as the control of Idlib has become vital for Syria and Russia, the loss of Idlib for Turkey would make it the only loser of the Syrian Civil War, a war in which whole countries are fighting to take control of some handful of soil.
The message conveyed by Russia to Turkey on February 4 has become as clear as day. Without directly confronting the Turkish state, Russia has reminded Turkey of its place and the limits in their mostly one-sided relationship. In parallel, the Kremlin administration acknowledged relations between Turkey and the jihadist gangs in Syria, as well as drawing attention to Turkey’s goals behind the dispatching of jihadists to Libya.
Turkish Army Observation Points Under Syrian Control
As the regime forces advanced, Turkish relations with Russia turned into a bumpy ride. Regime forces, approaching the Idlib city centre as close as 8 kilometres in some places, took control of the region where two of the 12 Turkish military observation points were positioned, entered Seraqib and took complete control of the strategic M5 Highway.
Hayaat Tahrir Alsham, with other large and small jihadist gangs and their predecessors, sought refuge in the Idlib city centre while civilians sought refuge on the Turkish occupation border. The invading Turkish state, which asked Russia to stop the attacks, sought salvage in the classic, exhausted threats of sending boatloads of jihadists to Europe.
The Syrian regime’s primary goal was to take under control and open to traffic the M4 and M5 highways which are the main transportation lines between the Syrian capital Damascus, Latakia, and Aleppo. The highways happen to be situated in Idlib and its surroundings, which was being occupied jointly by Russia and Turkey since September 2018.
Within the framework of this goal, the city of Seraqib, where the Syrian army entered, forms the most strategic point of both highways as it is the point where the M4 and M5 meet.
With Turkey’s quick response to this operation, the execution of military reinforcements and the establishment of military checkpoints built in the North and South of Seraqib without the knowledge of Russia, Turkey’s threats failed to push back the Syrian army.
Turkey could not find what it hoped in Russia: New balances will form
With some intimidation on behalf of Russia, the Syrian regime gained control of over 90 positions. Very quickly, US Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mike Pompeo, jumped to television screens in the face of the inevitable encounter of the Turkish-Syrian army: “We stand by Turkey, a NATO ally” Pompeo declared, “We support Turkey’s right to self-defence.” When Pompeo’s words are translated to a much more plain language, all that remains is ‘we would like to win back Turkey to secure our gains in the current situation because we have already betrayed the Syrian Democratic Forces and have no other branch left to hold on to in Syria’.
Undoubtedly, the United States was delighted that the Turkish Republic entered a “breakup” process with Russia after choosing them over the yankees in the S400-F35 dilemma. The US assessed that this conflict would amend Turkey-US relations.
The Halkbank Case
For a long time the Halkbank case was used as a trump card against Turkey. As coincidence has it, just as Turkey gained control in Idlib the assets of Halkbank were frozen. The timing of the extraordinary reveal of corruptness in Turkey was so precise, one would dare to think that the righteous and all-mighty US would cover such a scandal to use as blackmail in times of need. And as if this was not convincing enough, Trump himself ‘invited’ Erdogan to take steps against Putin on Syrian soil, shortly before announcing that the war in Iran was closer than expected.
The essence of fact is that the United States sees Turkey as more than a strategic partner, as it highlights every now and then depending on who’s betrayed who the most over the past few days. For the US, Turkey is the power that can limit Russia’s and Irans power in the Middle East. At this point it is noteworthy to add that Turkey, by America, and Iran, by Russia, are being put in a cage, fighting for the next ‘Police Country’ title of the MENA. The gestures currently proceeding in regards to the sanctions of Halkbank are Americas push in the right direction for Turkey to oppose Russia. How else would a country get away with robbing its own people?
If Turkey turns its direction to NATO, new balances will emerge in the Syrian area. Indeed, Russia-Turkey tensions will not be limited to Idlib, but will effect the whole of Northern and Eastern Syria. In addition, some political changes will take place all the way to Libya. Different developments and operations can take place from occupied Cerablus to Afrin.
While a new play is being screened in the Syrian war, what happens next in the region has the power to drag any and every part of the world into a marvelous war. Thus, the Third World War is not expected to end very pleasantly.