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SEPTEMBER 2020

Illegal Migrants And Idlib Crisis: Turkey’s New-Old Game To Pressure European Union

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Illegal Migrants And Idlib Crisis: Turkey's New-Old Game To Pressure European Union

Click to see full-size image

Turkey seems to be using a new propaganda strategy in its efforts against the ongoing Syria Army anti-terrorism operation in Idlib. It is now claiming that the defeat of terrorists in Syria’s Idlib will lead to an intensified flow of illegal migrants to Europe.

Earlier, Turkey preferred  to insist that the Idlib area was filled with “moderate rebels” fighting against the “Assad regime”. Now, these clams became a second-grade topic in Turkish media. The main topic is the suppusedly impending humanitarian crisis.

Illegal Migrants And Idlib Crisis: Turkey's New-Old Game To Pressure European Union

Click to see full-size image. An infographic pieces by Turkey’s Anadolu Agency

According to Ankara, civilians are fleeing from the Syrian Army advance.

“In the past two days, some 10,000 civilians out of 215,000 fled as a result of the attacks, Mohammad Halaj, the head of Syria’s Response Coordination Group, said.”

If the violence does not end, the number of people, who have to leave Syria, will surge, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

The majority of people who had to flee the violence reportedly went to camps in Atmah, Qah, Deir Hassan and Kafr Lusin, areas seized by the Turkish military operations, while others headed to olive grove farms near the Turkish border.

Ankara seems quite concerned over this humanitarian crisis, similarly to how concerned it was that the “Assad regime” is fighting against the “moderate rebels.”

It was never a secret that Idlib was under control by al-Qaeda, or al-Qaeda affiliated groups, and the “moderate rebels” were little more than a fairytale. Now that, there are no more “moderate rebels” and an impeding humanitarian crisis, Ankara shows that it is willing to tolerate a terrorist stronghold near its borders, since that is what Idlib would be if the Syrian Arab Army and its allies weren’t carrying out their offensive.

Furthermore, claims that more refugees would migrate towards the EU are a continuation of Ankara’s efforts to pressure Europe on the matter.

It should be reminded that on December 9th, the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey “mobilised” EUR6 billion to support refugees and local communities in need and the funds were fully mobilized.

Oliver Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, commented: “The full mobilisation of the €6 billion of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey confirms the European Union’s commitment to deliver on its promises. We will continue our support to refugees and host communities in Turkey in various areas that are of key importance to their quality of life, the future of their children and their integration at large”.

Janez Lenarčič, EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, added: “Supporting refugees in Turkey is a priority for the EU. Thanks to EU’s support, more than 1.7 million vulnerable refugees cover their basic needs, such as rent and medicine, and more than half a million refugee children go to school. EU continues to deliver on its promise to refugees and Turkey.”

Therefore, the current propaganda campaign on the ‘humanitarian crisis’ in Idlib also has a monetary value for Turkey, which uses it to pressure the European Union and get even more revnue from its participation in security efforts to handle the illegal migrant flow.

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