Map: Investigation of the latest military situation in the Idlib region and the progress of the Syrian Army
Extensive deployment by Turkey to Idlib and failure of Russia-Turkey negotiations did not stop Syrian Army and allies shattering operation in northwest of Syria and so far about 2000 km2 has been liberated from terrorists. Future days are even more important.
1. What happened in Russia-Turkey talks?
Russians stated in the negotiation that Turkey did not obliged to Sochi agreement regarding differentiate between terrorists and opposition groups and built several new observation posts and deployed extensive force to Idlib. Russia considers the operation fighting the terrorism but did not close the negotiations and try to force the new conditions upon Erdogan.
Erdogan, on the other hand, started being unreasonable, threatened Syria and condemned Russia’s and Iran’s support for the operation.
2. Continuation of Syrian Army and allies operation:
Syrian Army and allies could so far liberate about 2,000 km2 in west of Aleppo and Idlib provinces and seven Turkish observation posts with more than 500 Turkish troops are besieged. This can reduce the risk of Turkey extensively assaulting Syria since besieged Turkish troops are the best target to answer any assault by Turkey.
As can be inferred from Bashar Assad and Russian officials statements, operation of northwest of Syria will continue at least until liberation of Idlib and possible scenarios and axes of engagement and advance are not clear. Syrian army can move toward border of Turkey and besiege terrorists or liberating towns one by one in Idlib and Aleppo push back them toward Turkey’s border.
Erdogan however by sending numerous troops and equipment to Syria is obviously looking to get more bargaining chips. Putin refuse to meet him or accept his proposal and continuation of the operation challenged Turkish policies fundamentally and Erdogan is facing dilemma of retreating or confronting.
Erdogan is aware of consequences (more refugees to Turkey, war extended to Turkey, etc.) of confronting Syrian army more, therefore, avoids having an open war with Syria for now. However wars start with miscalculation and Erdogan is not immune of it either.
We will hear more news of liberating new lands in Syria, unless Erdogan stops dreaming to pray in Umayyad Mosque and get along with Russia.