About the new ceasefire agreement in Syria’s Idlib. One thing is very clear yet remains largely unstated. The war on terrorism goes on, and quite rightly so.
So if you see reports about what the press calls the ‘Assad forces’ or similar, meaning the legitimate Syrian government military, army and air force and their allies – including Russia – attacking opposition forces linked with al-Qaeda, that is quite legitimate action on their part. Terrorists are not part of the deal.
Both Russia and Turkey have renewed their declarations that the war against terrorism will still be pursued. For Turkey, of course, this means something entirely different to what everybody else will understand it to mean. Turkey does not consider the so-called ‘opposition forces’ they support, are actually terrorists. This presents something of a dilemma which in reality entirely negates any value the ceasefire agreement might otherwise have produced. The two signatories to the agreement have not agreed terms on who – which groups – actually represent the forces of terrorism. In fact they both have entirely different views on that. How can that work?
Of course, everybody who has any interest in the struggle knows this to be true. The whole ceasefire arrangement is a total sham. The best it can achieve is a temporary ‘open’ passage for any remaining innocent civilians to escape the area via the M4 buffer zone to government controlled areas of the country – if they dare, of course. Russia needs to organise ‘pick-up’ convoys to stop at various places on or near the M4 over the next several days for that purpose. It is of no use having Turkey to assist in that since I can’t see any Syrian wanting a ride to freedom in a Turkish truck. Anyone wishing to go north to Turkey can walk.
It is difficult to believe why any rational person would have created such a meaningless deal. International pressure, I guess would have supplied some sort of motivation for doing so. And a weeping Erdogan on President Putin’s shoulder would have had some impact as well I suppose. A person can only take so much of that, and he has been bleating, whining and moaning to anyone who might lend an ear for days. How can he even imagine that this lull, which at best is what it is, will be of benefit to him? Well, I suppose it gives him opportunity to build up his forces in Syria. But then, why would he after his own forces suffered heavy losses, said to be in the hundreds, in the days leading up to this arrangement. And Russia is also providing many more, mostly updated equipment I would suggest – though details have not yet been released – to assist the Syrian government in what is surely yet to come.
Hoping for a quick end and a clear-out of all foreign forces and terrorist cellar-rats from north-west Syria.