The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is preparing to launch a large-scale military operation within the demilitarized zone around the northern governorate of Idlib, the Syrian al-Watan newspaper, which is known for its close ties with the Damascus government, reported on May 1.
The 15-20km zone was established last September under a Russian-Turkish agreement designed to stabilize the situation in Idlib by peaceful measures. The agreement prevents terrorist groups from having any presence within the zone. However, earlier this year the former branch of al-Qaeda in Syria, known as Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), imposed control of the entire zone following a series of clashes with Turkish-backed militants.
According to al-Watan, the SAA deployed several offensive units around the demilitarized zone over the last few days. These units, which are reportedly from the elite Tiger Forces, are expected to lead the upcoming operation.
The deployment of these units coincided with intense Russia and Syria strikes on terrorists’ positions in Idlib and its surroundings, especially the northern Hama countryside.
Despite these preparations, its remains unclear if Moscow would green light such a military operation. During his recent visit to China, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin stressed that a ground operation in Idlib “is not expedient now.”
“I don’t rule it [a military operation in Idlib] out, but right now we and our Syrian friends consider that to be inadvisable given this humanitarian element,” Putin told reporters during a press conference in Beijing on April 27, according to the Moscow Times.
Last week, a spokesman for the Syrian opposition revealed that Russia and Turkey are planning to conduct joint patrols around Idlib very soon in order to de-escalate the tension. This also indicates that Moscow has not given up on the demilitarized zone agreement yet.
The SAA and its allies are likely preparing for the worst case scenario. The failure of the joint patrol plan could indeed encourage Moscow to support a military solution that would deter the remaining terrorist in Idlib, if not completely neutralize the threat.
Here we go again. Military operation in Idlib Zoo that never happens …
“I don’t rule it [a military operation in Idlib] out, but right now we and our Syrian friends consider that to be inadvisable given this humanitarian element,” Putin told reporters during a press conference in Beijing on April 27, according to the Moscow Times.” That’s not what Assad’s been saying for the last few years, I think he has a different view to Putin concerning sovereign Syrian territory.
Or else he has the exact same view a Putin, but Putin has to politically distance Russia from direct involvement in the big de-head-chopperization operation – can’t have Erdogan going full retard. But Erdogan may be in on it, too. Erdogan would need political cover for his own sake and is desperate to ‘solve’ the Idlib problem, He doesn’t look like a back-stabber to the jihadis if the Turkish Army only jumps in at the last minute to kill fleeing head-choppers, ‘…despite Turkey’s best efforts until now at a peaceful solution’. Idlib has only one solution today: Fallujah it for effective head-chopper removal.
I think Erdogan’s in on it too, HTS didn’t beat the rest of the Turk Militias out of the areas they were in and replace them, they just moved in and took their places, but only in the areas Erdogan didn’t want to retain a presence, that was just way too convenient and coincidental for me. And on top of that, SF, Al Masdar news and another anti Assad news outlet all published claims by one of the militia groups, which actually accused Erdogan of complicity in working with Putin to reshape the situation in Idlib, and also warned they thought Erdogan was about to throw them all under the bus. I agree with you, when the time is right and he’s gotten what he wants, Erdogan will join in with Putin and the SAA and happily annihilate HTS and some of the other militias that aren’t allied to Erdogan, maybe even a few that are. But when that’s the question, as well as what do they have to give Erdogan in return for his participation. Erdogan + Isis, we don’t hear much in the media yet about a new affiliation between them, but I think this will be the next big story to break, and I say that because they’re [Isis] starting to pop up like toadstools in Idlib and Aleppo now, which means some one’s been fertilizing them.
Yes, good analysis. And indeed, what is Erdogan’s price?
Thanks, I’m afraid we’ll probably only find out when Assad finds out, which will only be when it’s too late for Assad to do anything about it if he doesn’t like it. Cheers.
All Washington stranded proxies are in Idlib.
If Pakistanis learn some lesson from this Syria, Iraqi, Yugoslavian wars that how Britain have divided their mother land India and then erected dispute of Kashmir between them. To be honest, in this division mostly Muslims martyred and weekened due to the accepted the British conspiracy.
If like Germany both Pak and Indian nations refused to be obedient to their rulers and break the border between them then they will become a joint new super power. Then two leaders should have to lead the country a Muslim and a Hindu.
I wish the Pakistani and Indian new generations break the border in between and be united again as a new super power. After British occupation they have changed the name to India and after British withdrawal they have divided the land into India and Pakistan and erected the dispute of Kashmir under conspiracy as they have successfully done in Germany and in Yugoslavia, Syria etc. The Germany nation were clever who united again but for Pak and Indian nations need courage.
Haven’t we heard this before?
About 100 times !
I reckon its called ‘putting pressure’ on the Jihadis and their Turkish protectors. It remains to be seen if it will actually work. Methinks every time you do this and nothing happens the less effective it becomes.
Operation does not mean offensive. So, these operations are totally useless.