For the first time since hostilities ceased in Syria’s Idlib province last March under an agreement between Russia and Turkey made under pressure from the UN Security Council (as far as I remember), a combined Russia/Turkey military patrol of the M4 highway (which marks the ceasefire line) has been carried out successfully. Previous attempts have needed to be curtailed due to militant action aimed at preventing use of the highway by government held syria.
The following paragraph quoted from the Southfront report “First Ever Full Turkish-Russian Patrol On M4 Highway In Syria’s Greater Idlib Completed (Video)” tells the situation clearly as it stands today.
“By securing the M4 highway, Turkey has fulfilled a part of its commitments. Under the agreement with Russia, Ankara is also obliged to neutralize the remaining terrorist groups in Greater Idlib, including Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham. Turkish forces are yet to take any action to achieve this goal.”Southfront – First Ever Full Turkish-Russian Patrol On M4 Highway In Syria’s Greater Idlib Completed (Video)
The situation, where Turkey has singularly and perhaps deliberately failed to keep its part of the bargain, is clearly now ripe for a continuation of the pre-March action by Syrian government forces, aided by Russian forces, to clear the whole of Idlib province north of the M4 of militants (a generous description – they are really terrorists) and also the occupying Turkish army. This will be done. I have no doubt of that …and, if Southfront (an underfunded news source, prone to exaggeration when in financial distress – as it is just now) is to be believed, the buildup to that operation is under way right now. See: “Militants Panic As Syrian Army Units Take Offensive Positions Around Greater Idlib”
In just a few weeks the victorious Syrian Arab Army recaptured and liberated a large part of the Idlib province from terrorist occupation even though those militant forces were aided by the Turkish military forces, and the victorious Syrians were set to drive all the way to the Syrian border when Turkey begged the UN to intervene because its NATO allies wouldn’t (even NATO has some very basic, low level moral code) since Turkish action was clearly in breach of international law.
So, whether Southfront is right on this point or not, it will happen at some stage. And I imagine Syria is growing understandably impatient at the impasse which currently holds them back. A broken agreement is no barrier to natural justice and the rule of law.
Bring it on. I am on record as never having been in favour of this pseudo ceasefire agreement. This chapter needs to be closed – with Syria fully intact and in control of ALL of its national borders. Others be warned.
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