Demilitarized Zone in Idlib and Political Game of Russia and Turkey
Article, Gallery, Image, Media, Middle East, News, Syria 01 October 2018

On September 17 it was announced by Turkey and Russia that demilitarized zone (DMZ) is going to be imposed in Idlib province; a news surprising many.
It’s two weeks after the news and one more week until it is implantation but local evidences tell something else.


After Russian and Turkish Presidents meeting in Sochi, they announced there will be imposed a DMZ of 15-20 km depth between frontlines of Syrian Army and militants in northwest of Syria and Syrian forces will retreat and only Russian and Turkish troops will position there.
It is noteworthy that details of this agreement never was published but what we mentioned above is the main part of the agreement which was announced orally by Russian and Turkish officials.

Photos of this agreement in social media cannot be trusted nor confirmed.


As it was predicted, after the announcement, terrorist groups such as Hurras al Din and Tahrir al Sham declined the agreement but it was public expectations that FSA’s subgroups which are directly under Turkish supervision and receive their financial and logistical supports from this country would submit to the agreement, but didn’t happen.
During past days, two main subgroups related to the Free Syrian Army, i.e., Jaish Izzah and Faylaq al Sham declining Sochi’s agreement, claimed they do not evacuate the DMZ.


On the other hand, we are observing Tahrir al Sham silence regarding the agreement and there are rumors that the silence is due to negotiations between the group and Turkey about MDZ and future of Idlib.
Turkey’s problem with Tahrir al Sham is first that subgroups of FSA are not obedient and second that Turkey cannot disarm different militant groups due to Sochi agreement by the deadline, i.e., 10 October, which means “ambiguous but hopeful future of Idlib”, which was mentioned before.


Let’s review briefly the evolutions in northwest of Syria once more
Syrian Army transported a lot for troops and equipment to northwest for Idlib giant operation with lots of noise. Everyone was expecting this grand operation; pro-militant media and western mainstream media did everything to prevent the operation and fabricated a fake story of chemical attack. But this time the histrionics were cancelled by Moghawemat and Russia. Russia and Syria put more pressure on Turkey and claimed that deadline is over and going to start the operation soon.
Turkey to prevent the Idlib operation and possible threats for this country such as flood of refugees and terrorists coming to turkey, returned to negotiations. Erdogan came to Tehran and everything was discussed. He went to Sochi then and it was announced: DMZ for 20 km and now the ball is in Turkey’s side!


If we look at the issue of Idlib from every aspect, it is a victory for Russia and Moghawemat.


Moghawemat knowing that militant groups cannot comply with this agreement, implemented this scenario for Turkey and its terrorists.
It is safe to say that DMZ is a trap for Turkey and its militants; since if the militant groups do not comply with it before the deadline, Syria and Russia have the right to start the operation lawfully.


On the other hand even if the agreement is implemented, it’s temporary and groups like Tahrir al Sham are still to leave and the land should turn back to Syria.
Although the first case is more probable, in either case Syria is the winner and Turkey is left with its terrorists.


Right now negotiations between Turkey and other terrorist groups are continuing and it needs more time to organize Idlib situation and probably Turkey asks for more time from Russia. Also it is possible that the DMZ changes such as decreasing the area of it.


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