Escalation Or De-Escalation? Prospects Of Russian-Turkish Idlib Agreement

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Escalation Or De-Escalation? Prospects Of Russian-Turkish Idlib Agreement

The week of March 9 demonstrated that despite all the difficulties the Russian-Turkish ceasefire deal on Greater Idlib is rather working than not. The situation on the contact line between the Syrian Army and Turkish-backed militant groups remains relatively calm. Both the Syrian Army and Turkish-led forces are able to rotate and resupply their fighters, repair equipment and deploy fresh reinforcements. Occasional clashes, which erupted in southeastern Idlib and western Aleppo, did not result in any escalation.

In large part, the standoff between Idlib armed groups and Turkey on the one side and Syria, Russia and Iran on the other side moved to the media sphere. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the National Front for Liberation and other groups vowed to not retreat an inch back from their positions regardless of what was agreed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin in Moscow. The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) declared that it will crush ‘Russian invaders’ if they come. The group’s main bases are located in and near Jisr al-Shughur, just inside the planned buffer zone along the M4 highway. If Russian-Turkish patrols really cover the zone from Trumba to Ain al-Havr, as the Turkish foreign minister announced, they will have to pass through the territory controlled by the TIP. Additionally, all large Idlib groups officially rejected the withdrawal of fighters or heavy weapons from the security zone.

During the week, the Russian Military Police were conducting regular patrols along the M5 highway north and south of Saraqib. On March 15, Russian troops are set to join Turkish forces in the first joint patrol in the established security zone. In many aspects, the fate of the new Idlib de-escalation deal depends on the outcome of this effort.

There are three main scenarios.

1. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the National Front for Liberation and the TIP miraculously disappear from the area along and south of the M4 highway. The security zone will be successfully created and joint Russian-Turkish patrols will be launched. In the medium term, this will allow to de-escalate the situation in northern Lattakia, and in the south and east of Idlib. A permanent ceasefire will likely be established in the area. Turkey will get a pause to make another attempt to deal with resistant armed groups that do not want to follow orders from Ankara unquestioningly. Theoretically, if Turkey has 2-3 years, it can suppress al-Qaeda-linked groups and neutralize the most dangerous terrorists.
Ankara will work to remove the terrorist threat from the militant-held part of Idlib in order to consolidate its own influence in the area. Then, Turkey will use it as a bargaining chip during negotiations on a deal on the political settlement of the conflict. If no such deal is reached, Turkey could move to annex these territories.

2. Forces of radical militant groups will remain along the M4 highway and the security zone will be created in name only. Joint Russian-Turkish patrols in the area will become impossible because of the constant threat of attacks from militants. If, despite this, patrols are launched, they will eventually lead to casualties among the Russian Military Police. Moscow will likely respond to any such development with the resumption of the full-scale air bombing campaign against militants. After this, Turkey will likely get the last short window of opportunity to neutralize al-Qaeda-linked groups by itself. If this does not happen, the Syrian Army will resume operations in Idlib with full-scale Russian support.

3. The Russian and Turkish leadership fully understands the prospects of the scenario number 2. Therefore, if radicals do not withdraw, Ankara and Moscow will delay joint patrols. They will work to freze the situation on the frontline and find some acceptable solution of the problem. In the short-run, this will likely allow to keep the ceasefire alive. In the mid-term, this approach will inevitably lead to a new military escalation. The peaceful life and political settlement between the Damascus government and the moderate part of Idlib groups are impossible as long as the region is in fact in the hands of terrorists.

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  • Hasbara Hunter

    Deals?…Deals?…Why make Deals with Treacherous Dönmeh Muslimbrothers like Erdocunt? Ignore the Cockroach…he is an irrelevant Traitor…Chop up the pityful remnants of his Headchoppers in Idlibistan…finish the job…turn’m into dog-chow…

    • Icarus Tanović

      Just finish them off.

      • Hasbara Hunter

        Meanwhile in Turkey:

        Turkish Imposter Erdocunt thought its was very funny that 36 Turkish soldiers were turned into Worm-feed by the SAA…perhaps the SAA should produce some more….give’m ears to hear…

        https://www.google.nl/amp/s/ahvalnews.com/recep-tayyip-erdogan/erdogans-laughter-days-after-deaths-turkish-troops-sparks-outrage%3famp

        • Icarus Tanović

          It is gonna be some escalation, what do you think? Erdo is trying his best to save face of brave headchopping Wahhabis.

          • Hasbara Hunter

            I can only see desperate AngloZionazis tryin’ to safe the last pityful remnants of their once “mighty” empire…Corona-Smokescreens & upcoming Economic crisis as distraction for real things to come…They showed that they are nothing & all AngloZioNazi actions get neutralized all the time

          • Icarus Tanović

            Very well said, thats not humble oppinion that is reality.

          • FlorianGeyer

            The US Empire is in a swamp all of its own making, with the help of the scheming US/Israeli dual citizens who totally control US foreign policy. :)

          • Karen Bartlett

            And it doesn’t matter who is “president”.

          • FlorianGeyer

            That’s very true, and until the Zionists from all religious cults are expunged or ‘neutralised’ in one form or another from the US, the US will remain a Zio-Mafia State.

          • Karen Bartlett

            Yes. Run fairly openly, to anyone who can see, like a bunch of criminal gangsters.

  • Boxman

    Another round of strikes is coming. Turkey may just go all-out this time, because they now know that Russia won’t intervene. These cheap drones have changed the balance of power and Russia desperately needs to find a way to neutralize them.

    I’m thinking use ELINT to find the control stations and then target them with cruise missiles or Iskanders. Fighting w/one hand tied behind your back and trying to shoot down individual drones is a losing game.

    • Willing Conscience (The Truths

      Both the Russians and the Syrians know exactly where all the Turkish communication relay towers are, they’re all along the Turkish/Syrian border, and they’re all within range of Syrian ballistic missile and long range artillery systems, so we already know where they all are and can take them out if we really want to, it’s there mobile relay systems we have to hunt down.
      But Russia has effective E war capabilities they can use to actively disrupt the Turks communications systems, we don’t even need to destroy them, just neutralize them.
      Turkish long range artillery is the SAA’s biggest threat, they have a lot of that and it’s second class only to Russian artillery, that’s the SAA’s biggest threat.

      • Boxman

        Interesting; well, it’s possible. After all, the Iranians did successfully hack I to US drone using ELINT techniques (I assume). Failing that, there’s always air strikes aimed at the comm towers.

        • Willing Conscience (The Truths

          I’m pretty sure the Russians can neutralize anything but laser linked comm systems pretty effectively and the Turks drones aren’t linked that way so it doesn’t affect the Russians ability to stop them.
          As I said we don’t need airstrikes to take them out, they’re well within range of even the middle of the road SAA artillery, the best SAA artillery and SRBM’s could even take out the bases on the Turkish side of the border if they wanted to.

          • Boxman

            If that’s true then why the hell didn’t the SAA target those bases?

          • Willing Conscience (The Truths

            For the same reasons all official parties are abiding by the ceasefire now, no one want’s to escalate the situation to a point of no return, there’ll be no winners at all if that happens , just losers.

      • FlorianGeyer

        An item of personal military equipment that is rarely seen these days is the ‘Entrenching Tool’. This simple shovel in the hands of individual soldiers has a long history of saving lives.

        Digging individual shell scrapes and foxholes is imperative, and lazy soldiers are always more likely to become dead soldiers.

        • Willing Conscience (The Truths

          So true Florian but nowadays we really need deep reinforced bunkers to withstand some of the arsenal that’s hurled through the skies, and the Turks have been learning quite a lot from the Russians unfortunately.
          Being within their range also makes it hard for us to launch any ground offenses now, as soon as we stick our heads up and try to move they’ll try to blow them off, so even if we can hide from them when we need to, we can’t avoid them if we ever want to advance, but trying to advance through a salvo of 30 or 40 high payload rockets won’t be too much fun for the SAA.
          Hopefully a solution presents itself,
          Guerrilla warfare, unhappy disillusioned civilian population, non US aligned ALF Kurdish assistance, terrible attrition rates.
          And Assad just sitting happily on the sidelines watching it all unfold without even lifting a finger, half of Idlib’s practically insane so who knows what could happen, Erdogan could even catch the Coronavirus and die from it, and wouldn’t that be a gift from God to the world, or it could spread like wildfire through the filthy Jihadists camps, that’d be nearly as good. :]

          • FlorianGeyer

            With regard to ‘large underground bunkers’, ( I would include castles as well ) the historic evidence of such fortifications achieving the ‘invincibility’ imagined is limited to controlling a civilian population, and are not really compelling in real wars.

            They are hugely expensive, for example ,the French Maginot Line and similar German fortifications of WW2. A fortress ,Bunker obviously cannot be moved, and as such they are vulnerable to new weapons and imaginative military operations, as with the bunker fortress of Eben Emael captured by a small number of German Paratroopers.

            https://harveyblackauthor.org/2012/03/25/the-fallschirmjager-glider-assault-on-fort-eben-emael-may-1940/

            The hugely expensive Jihadi bunkers in Syria were probably all known locations to Russian and Syrian intelligence. The bunkers strength was not their fabric BUT was due to the Jihadi’s and NATO advisers and engineers strategy of constructing their bunkers UNDERNEATH working hospitals, World Heritage Sites, Civilian homes etc.

            The Jihadi/NATO strategy is a War Crime.

            The SAA and all their allies have NOT attempted to destroy these bunkers because of the unexceptable collateral damage.

            To come back to the main point, fluid defences with aircover are the key in my opinion. The huge amounts spent on bunkers can buy more effective mobile assets. Fluid defences though, do require superior battlefield management, and essentially, well led and motivated troops at all levels with a top notch officer corps.

          • Willing Conscience (The Truths

            I think from the time the Greeks first invented catapults and other siege engines the city walls defences have been made more and more obsolete, now we’re at a point where even deep bunkers can be penetrated by specialized weapons, static defenses are always vulnerable to offensive systems, we can no longer build our defensive systems strong enough to withstand the offensive systems we also build, now we need a mix of offensive and defensive capabilities acting together, and they both have to be highly mobile to be effective.
            I agree with you about needing a fluid defense system in Idlib but 4 pantsir systems for all of Idlib won’t provide that, but 3 or 4 S-400 batteries might though, and each battery has between 8 to 12 launch vehicles, 2 radar vehicles, a relay vehicle and a command vehicle, and then each and every vehicle needs at least 1 Pantsir system as well, so that comes to a grand total of 12 to 16 Pantsir vehicles for every S-400 battery, so at least 36 [3 X 12] and up to as many as 64 [4 X 16] Pantsir systems, 4 Pantsir systems for all of idlib just isn’t enough.
            So we can talk about an effective way to deal with the Turks but it doesn’t help the situation, only adequate assets on the ground will, and so far we’re falling way behind in that department, so unless the Russians or someone else coffs up with some new equipment, I’m afraid we’re going to remain vulnerable to both Turkish air and artillery strikes.
            We have the 2 best fighting divisions already on the ground there, the 4th division have been well trained by the Iranians and the 25th have the Russians best training and equipment behind them, so you can’t get any better than that Florian, they are the elites of the elite, so if they can’t do the job there’ll be no one else that can.

          • Karen Bartlett

            Your statements seem to me to be highly negative as far as the possibility of Syria winning is concerned. And you say “we” constantly, as though you are actually fighting in the war. Are you? On whose side?

          • Willing Conscience (The Truths

            I’m always on the underdogs side unless the underdog starts it, in this particular case it happens to be Syria I support, NO ONE ELSE, who do you actually support.
            And Syria’s already lost the war, it ended the very moment Erdogan launched his new invasion, so there is no hope Syria will regain what it’s lost to either Erdogan or the US, a military solution is now out of the question, and if you want to prove me wrong link official Russian government statements to the contrary, the only ones I read from official Russian government sources ALL say there’s no way in hell they’re going to go to war against Turkey to save Syria, they only want a political solution, and Syria can’t win by itself.

            Arab League peacekeepers are the only way Assad will be able to kick both the Turks and the US out, there is no other way now.

            Tell me how does having a positive attitude change anything at all.
            This comment of mine that you’re criticizing for being negative isn’t negative at all, I just stated the known facts, and known facts aren’t negative or positive, just known facts, the information they contain may elicit emotions due to relevance, but that’s not the deliverers fault.
            Do me a favour and point out why you think my comment is negative, how could I have made it more positive using the known facts, how could I say Putin just admitted he only had 4 Pantsir systems deployed for the whole of Idlib, just 4 to defend against a threatened invasion that Erdogan kept saying he was about to launch, you try and rephrase the known facts and make it sound positive, you give me an example of what I should’ve said.

          • Karen Bartlett

            Pres. al- Assad “happily sitting on the sidelines watching it all unfold without even lifting a finger”? That’s not true. Whose side are you on, anyway?

          • Willing Conscience (The Truths

            You didn’t read it properly Karen, I said Assad could just sit back and watch the terrorists devour themselves during this ceasefire, meaning he may not have to lift a finger to destroy them, they’ll probably do it to themselves and save him the trouble.
            Assad’s the only one I support, not the Russian’s not the Iranian’s nor anyone else, just Assad and the Syrian people, so who do you support, obviously not Assad and Syria, so is it Russia or Iran?

      • Karen Bartlett

        Why do you keep saying “we”? Are you in the SAA or any allied military helping Syria?

        • Willing Conscience (The Truths

          Do you have a problem with me identifying with the Syrian people, it’s army, and it’s political ambitions do you, that’s tough luck for you then isn’t it.
          I do a lot more to support Syria than you do you mindless moron, I call out Russia and Iran when they shaft Assad and the Syrian people, I don’t say the Iranians and Russians are heroes when they say or do things I think are detrimental for Assad and Syria, I scream at the top of my lungs and say “that’s bad”, and it makes me hugely unpopular, I don’t just criticize our known enemies, I also criticize our allies when I think I need to.

          We were just bamboozled by the Russian media into thinking that this new ceasefire and safezone deal would allow us to use of the M4 highway, we were fed a whole heap of lies, mistruths, confusing and irrelevant information for one purpose only. The omission of known facts that even the most ignorant of us should’ve questioned, had just about everyone ready to go for a ride on the M4.
          I had people linking me photos of SAA soldiers traveling on the M4 to prove the Russians had done a good deal, but I kept saying it was all BS and impossible, and also pointed out why.
          Then SF published 2 absolute pieces of trash which I picked apart with the known facts, PIGS CAN’T FLY, and I proved it. They told the mindless people like you a whole heap of lies and untruths, and when I pointed out that they had, all the morons like you refused to accept the facts and continued to believe the fantasy you wanted to believe.
          Since my critical posts on the matter of the liberated M4, SF has suddenly changed tact, wow, now they’re starting to point out the obvious flaws in the initial claims they made on behalf of the Russians, now they’re saying exactly the same thing I was saying about the impossibility of the situation, but everyone condemned me for saying it a few days earlier.
          So why is I get called a troll for saying exactly the same thing that SF is now saying, I said it 3 or 4 days before they did, so why couldn’t I say it back then but SF can say it now, it’s like they copied and pasted every single thing I said word for word, but then embellished it with a we didn’t know slant, but they knew all along, the Russians knew all along, and everyone else with half a brain in their heads knew all along, the facts are the facts and the truth is the truth.
          You’re just another slave Karen and you don’t realize it, Free Speech serves a useful purpose for humanity, and we all know where the suppression of free speech leads, and you’re becoming one of it’s leaders now, I keep remembering what you first told me about bigotry, it seems you didn’t really know what you were talking about back then, just knew the rhetoric off by heart.

    • Icarus Tanović

      They did that already, and Erdo was threatening with “full scale war”. startin 1. March if SAA don’t stop to liberate itself from these Wahhabi headchopping monstrosities. That’s just tlak to talk.

    • Hasbara Hunter

      Can you send me a link please?
      Thanks in advance

  • nyomarek

    There is only one way: clear the Green from the Idlib map.

  • Icarus Tanović

    Idlib must be freed from Wahhabi headchoppers.

  • Willing Conscience (The Truths

    I don’t like scenario number one much at all, the 2 to 3 years could turn into an eternity.
    “Theoretically, if Turkey has 2-3 years, it can suppress al-Qaeda-linked groups and neutralize the most dangerous terrorists”
    That’s what they said 2 years ago.

    Number 2 isn’t that good either, just take up where we just left off last time, but we’d just sent 2 delegations to the UN asking them to help stop the Turkish incursion, does that mean we’ll have to send them back again, or does it mean the Russians will start WW3 and stop the Turks dead in their tracks, I don’t think either scenario will work out too well.

    And what about number 3, how does that shape up. Well it’s sort of like saying we’ll just start the process from the beginning again and see what happens this time. But the Turks are in defensive positions now and the rebels have been reinforced, resupplied and re equipped with heaps of brand new weapons, and even worse still, they now have a measure of international support, that’s something the SAA has lost to come extent just lately, so we won’t be restarting from the same positions we were before the ceasefire despite the fact we have a lot of extra territory under our belts.

    Arab peacekeepers operating under a mutually agreed Syrian/UN mandate is a possible solution, it could mean an end to all unsanctioned hostilities, eradication of foreign Jihadists, a gradual return of government institutions, the organized removal of Turkish military forces, International recognition of a political solution which would also mean help rebuilding Syria, and all within a recognized and accepted time frame for all parties.
    The Turks wouldn’t be happy but they could be dragged along kicking and screaming, who cares if Erdogan’s doing dummy spits with everyone else but Assad for a change.

    If only we could’ve spooked those anti Assad civilians into fleeing to the Turkish border before the Turks started arriving in big numbers, we would’ve already won this war by now, but no we had to go to Aleppo and launch a military campaign that’s set us back 10 years, but sadly the quickest and easiest path to total victory was with the fleeing refugees, why did we waver from that very safe and direct path, WHY, those refugees would’ve beaten the Turkish military for us and they would’ve done it at the Turkish border, oh well it’s too late now.

    • Karen Bartlett

      The UN hasn’t been known to support Syria.The UN is run by the US. And if anybody starts WWIII, it’ll be the US.

      • Willing Conscience (The Truths

        Assad has refused to agree to the Russian, Iranian, Turkish proposed UN resolution 2254 since 2015, the original resolution draft was sponsored by Turkey Iran and Russia.
        So Assad refused to accept a deal his friends made for him for 5 years, but the very same day the UN offered him a new deal he accepted it instantly.
        Think about it Karen, 5 years if saying no to to your 2 biggest allies and just 1 day to say yes to the UN.

        https://www.un.org/press/en/2015/sc12171.doc.htm

        And here’s what Assad has to say about his reasons for not accepting the deal.

        https://english.enabbaladi.net/archives/2019/11/al-assad-blows-up-political-process-with-three-noes/

        And this is how the new resolution has been amended to suit Assad and not the Turks.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Constitutional_Committee

        And this is why Assad accepted the UN amendments.

        https://sana.sy/en/?p=174646

        Just a few months ago the Russians and Chinese managed to get the UN to set a 6 months time frame for ending all humanitarian aid to Idlib, so no food, medicine, or shelter for anyone in Idlib, so who would that have helped the most, the rebels or the SAA.

        Syria lost the moment the Turks intervened, they lost half of Idlib, a part of Aleppo, Latakia, Ar Raqqah and Al Hasakah, and now Deir ez Zor is still in the firing line for Turkish occupation too, and are the US still talking about leaving Karen, no they’re coming back.

        I claim the Syrians have lost international support because now the EU and NATO are making deals with Erdogan, and they’re asking Putin to come to meetings to discuss the situation, and they’re all calling for Assad to cease hostilities, and they’ve reopened a humanitarian aid crossing they only recently closed which was also part of the Russian Chinese agreement with the UN. The US is also going to start supplying ammunition and equipment to Turkey again.
        You know that just after the Turks invaded Al Hasakah the US and EU stopped all military sales to Turkey, the Italians withdrew their Patriot batteries and the Spanish were going to as well but changed their minds, they were slapped with even more EU and US sanctions, and Erdogan was becoming desperate for friends, he’s not anymore.

        They’ve already thrown in the towel, you’re just too stupid to recognise it yet, you probably still believe the SAA will get to use the M4 highway too.
        “We’ll” be lucky to keep what we’ve got and be blessed if we can still liberate any more territory below the new Russian/Turkish agreed 12 km buffer zone. The Turks won Karen, we didn’t.

        And you don’t like me using the word “we”, well fuck you you dumb cunt, I don’t care, I’m not pro Russian or pro Iranian, I’m pro Syrian, which is something not many other SF posters are, so I’ll identify with whomever I want to thank you very much, you go wallow in your own heap of mud and I’ll wallow in mine.

        And you’re not just trolling me today, I can see you seem to have a bee in your bonnet with a few other people too, so why has free speech and differing opinion become so nonpermissible on your eyes, how the hell does it hurt you, you’re nothing but a fascist Karen, follow the party line or be damned, I don’t think so.

        • Karen Bartlett

          As to your first link:
          Here’s what the UN meeting of 2015 said, in brief:
          “Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, emphasized that a national ceasefire must be aligned with the political transition, a process that must involve the departure of President Assad. He said the threat posed by Da’esh must be confronted, stressing that all countries claiming to fight the group must do what they said rather than directing the bulk of their attacks against non-extremist opposition groups.” Under your first link, then, the UN wanted Pres. Assad to step down from being President of Syria. Since he was democratically elected, I don’t wonder that he rejected the UN’s solution.

          As to your second link, this is what is recorded that Pres. Assad said regarding the UN meeting:

          “Al-Assad added that the Geneva process had failed, because it was “aimed at overthrowing the government through an interim body, regardless of its name, and then comes the peaceful change of the government and their control over Syria, as they did in many other countries.” This makes sense to me. Pres.Assad simply rejected a “color revolution” proposal by the UN.

          As to your third link,why should the amendments suit the Turks instead of Assad? It was Syria that was invaded, after all, not Turkey.
          Here is what I read about a Turk/Syria question in your Wikipedia link: “Proposals given before the committee included the recognition of the Kurdish language as a secondary language, as well as dropping the word “Arab” from Syria’s official name – the “Syrian Arab Republic”. Proposals aimed at bolstering the role of Kurds in Syria were strongly opposed by Turkey, which was expected to influence the opposition’s delegates into voting down any proposal it deemed out of line.[25]”

          As to your fourth link, and your statement about Pres.Assad’s reason for accepting “the UN amendments”, here is what the Syrian government said BEFORE the UN meeting took place:
          “He [Geir Pederson, UN special envoy for Syria] added that the agreement to form the committee is based on basic principles that guarantee the respect for Syria’s independence , sovereignty and territorial integrity.” . Pres. Assad and the Syrian government accepted that the UN meeting could take place (rather than accepting amendments of said meeting), on the basis that Syrian sovereignty would be respected.

          As for the rest of your statement, it’s typical of a troll, even down to the name-calling instead of a reasoned argument. You, imo, pretend to be pro-Syria, nothing more. According to your statements and the links you provided, Syria has “already lost” because they didn’t follow UN recommendations to replace the Syrian gov’t at the behest of the UN.
          Had they done so, however, Syria would have lost all semblance of sovereignty and come under UN (US) control. Syria preferred to fight the foreign terrorists who flooded into their country.The action of Syria in defending their country and their right to do so in spite of UN (US) pressure is the act of a sovereign country. You call this losing. And you use the word “we”,all the while expressing that Syria “lost” because they didn’t bow to UN pressure to replace their democratically elected government. I just wonder who your “we” actually is.

          • Willing Conscience (The Truths

            Yes UN resolution 2254 was a totally crap deal for Assad, it meant the Turkish backed opposition had just as much say in the rewriting of the Syrian constitution and full participation in the subsequent free and fair elections [that were to be held 6 months after a cessation of hostilities], that would’ve been anything but free and fair, it was absolutely the worst deal out in my opinion, I’m so glad you agree.
            But it was the Russians, Turks and Iranians who drew up the proposal in the first place, resolution 2254 was their idea from start to finish, they drafted the resolution and submitted it to the UN for approval, then all 15 UNSC members unanimously passed it in with no abstensions, BUT IT WAS A TURKISH, RUSSIAN, IRANIAN sponsored resolution.
            Now look up and find out who drew up and proposed the original version of resolution 2254 if you don’t believe me, the one Assad refused to accept for 5 years, it was Russia, Iran, and Turkey’s resolution, not the USA’s, not Britains, not France’s, not Germany’s or anyone else’s. But when the UN approached him last year with a new proposal to reconsider the resolution, Assad agreed to accept the deal if there were a whole heap of new amendments included, and all the new amendments were designed to restrict Turkish influence on the Syrian political process and were accepted. And the Russians, Turks, and Iranians were excluded from that new deal, they had nothing to do with it, Erdogan eventually became furious and stopped the new Constitutional delegations attending the small round meetings that had already started, and he still hasn’t agreed to abide by the new amendments yet.
            So again you’ve misunderstood the whole situation and come to the wrong conclusions, the people you think were harming Assad with the crappy resolution are in fact the people you trust, and you try to tell me they have Assad’s best interests at heart, but the fact is the opposite is the truth, they only have their own best interests at heart,that’s why Assad accepted the new proposal the UN made the very same day they made it, it saved his arse from the fate his allies and the Turks had in mind.

            Your heroes Russia and Iran along with their friend Turkey drew up that resolution that you agree is totally crap, but the new deal Assad made last year had nothing to do with the old deal, it gave Assad more of what he wanted, not what the Turks, Russians, and Iranians wanted to him to accept, his own demise.
            So go on, find out who the original sponsors of resolution 2254 were, it’s on public record on the official UN website, it has info on all the UN resolutions ever made, it states the requirements, the obligations, the parties involved, and most importantly, the people who drew up the resolution and proposed it, so go look it up.
            That’s what Iran and Russia did to Assad, not anyone else, his friends and allies did that to him, not his enemies, and yet you complain about me complaining about it, and the other crap things they do to Assad. Like this new deal everyone’s falling for, it’s as bad as resolution 2254 for Assad, but all the pro Russian supporters are oblivious to the fact, they all believe the pro Russian media and think the SAA will be using the M4 highway any day soon, LOL, if they knew the truth they’d choke on it.
            You need to learn how to read first and foremost, understand what you’re reading and if you don’t, do what I do and find out, don’t do what all the other mindless morons do, just spout vitriol for emotional gratitude, use the brain God gave you and think for yourself, no one else in the world can do a better job of thinking for yourselves than you can yourself, so try it for a change, don’t just trust the people you think know better than you do to do it for you, they can’t really, that’s your job Karen.

            “The UN Resolution 2254 was invoked by Iran, Russia, and Turkey as the legal basis for the political process required to solve the Syrian conflict, at the first round of the Astana Talks in January 2017.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_2254

  • cechas vodobenikov

    this conflict will ebb and flow until turkey and the amerikan al Qaeda terror groups r eliminated from Syrian territory…this will be a gradual process—the use of civilians as “human shields” by turks and the turk/US proxies does not permit a rapid removal of these uncivilized barbarians….the despicable behavior by turks at the Greek border speaks volumes

  • Lazy Gamer

    SA is trying to go for 25$ a barrel. Any more intervention might prove very expensive for Russia. SAA has every incentive to finish any conflict as fast as they can. However, those drones, artillery, and missile strikes can halt any advance. However all three modes of attack require recon. Deny the recon and the SAA can render all of these ineffective.

  • Anastasis

    THE FIASCO OF THE SOCHI DEAL. THE IDLIB WAR
    Anyone who has watched this fiasco unfold for the last year and a half, will tell you the same thing, that Erdogan did not just break the Sochi deal, he stomped on it, he spat on it and he throw it in the dustbin. That’s the plain truth of the matter. All the blather you might have read in the News –papers around the World about the ‘poor refugees’ or the ‘moderate rebels’ is all diversionary baloney. It doesn’t mean a thing. What’s important is that Erdogan has been aiding the terrorists from the very beginning; arming them, training them, and likely providing them with vital logistical support. These proxy militants are Turkey’s proxy-army prosecuting a war of territorial expansion. You won’t read that in world’s newspapers , but it’s true. Turkey’s military operation in Idlib is a war for land. Cyprus has been occupied since 1974 and the Turkish regime is threatening the integrity of the inland in every day basis.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Well said.

  • Séamus Ó Néill

    Being a realist, I see no other solution but the complete annihilation of these sub-human savages….these are not rational human being, they’ll cut the head of a man, woman or child, without thought nor care and readily gorge themselves on the raw warm liver. There’s no society on earth that these lawless, demonic cretins could be assimilated into. The mothers of their children, their own sisters, are no more than human chattel to be bought and sold as trinkets and life is completely meaningless except for their fictional, afterlife, virgins. In an ideal world, they’d be transported to the land of their creators, America, where they could spew their satanic vomit everywhere and the MSM could do daily bulletins on their charitable works !

    • FlorianGeyer

      Well said.

    • Karen Bartlett

      The US government would probably employ the head-choppers-against American citizens! Fortunately, Americans, with the exception of big liberal cities (outside of Texas) are mostly armed, and with a good many veterans and survivalists who are armed to the teeth.

  • Boxman

    I hope Putin understands that Turkey is absolutely NOT cowed, Erdogan is NOT going to back down, and that the only outcome of this cease-fire is Turkey replacing its losses and regrouping for another attack.

    Make no mistake. Russia has only two choices now: 1) Surrender much of Syria to Turkey permanently, or 2) War with Turkey. That’s it! It’s long past time to admit there are no other outcomes here; it has come to this. Putin and Russians remain in a state of denial about the AKP’s intentions, seemingly blind to what is obvious to any rational observer: that Erdogan’s Turkey is a hardline Sunni state and is fully committed to the cause of their SunniWahabbi brothers in Syria. This is pure sectarianism; most Turks hate the Shia and the Alawite’s, they believe in the destiny of a revived Ottoman empire. They believe in Turkish martial superiority over the dirty Arabs, the former colonial subjects of the great Ottoman empire. This is a nasty mix of religion and nationalism, and the Turks are feeling very empowered by their favorable position in Syria, with their local military superiority in the Syrian theater, their control of the Bosphorus Straits, and their NATO membership giving the US an excuse to support Turkey in the event of war. All this has made Turkey very aggressive. They will NOT back down.

    How many times does this have to be painfully demonstrated, at great cost to Syrian and allied troops? If Turkey was going to back down, they wouldn’t have poured a division into Idlib and they wouldn’t be continuing their buildup of military forces there. They wouldn’t be adding more observation posts either. Can’t everyone see these observation posts are designed to enable an offensive, serving as spotters for Turk artillery and drones, launchpads for MANPAD’s, and ultimately drawing fire from allied forces and then using the casualties as an excuse to attack? How is this not blatantly obvious to everyone? The whole thing has been a deliberate plan from the start.

    Russia needs to quit dithering and prepare for either surrender or war. There are no other options.

    prepared to surrender all or most of Idlib, all of Afrin, and all of the NE territory currently occupied by Turkey. Russia must be prepared for these

    • Karen Bartlett

      Wahhabists aren’t exactly Sunnis. They’re a fanatical sect. They’d kill Sunnis as fast as they have Shia. It’s not a sectarian war between Sunni and Shia. There are many Sunnis in the SAA. And Russia can’t “surrender Syria” because it’s not their land. It’s Syrian land.

  • purplelibraryguy

    All those scenarios ignore that sooner or later, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham et al. will start attacking the SAA. They have to because they define themselves in opposition to it and any group that is seen by its members as too passive will start losing people to others that are more aggressive. People sensible enough to realize the whole exercise is futile and will just get them killed, left or accepted amnesty deals long ago. So every time there is a ceasefire like this, it will last for a while then the attacks by the terrorists will mount until the SAA and allies have to counterattack, at which point the terrorists lose some more territory.
    For Russia and the Syrian government, there are still uses for these ceasefires. Rest, resupply, getting organized (of course the opposition will do the same). But also, if you take back the territory all in one push, the political implications escalate for as long as the fighting goes on. Turkey and Syria could end up officially at war. Turkey and Russia could end up officially at war. It could end up sucking in NATO–although even the Americans don’t really want that.
    So instead, you do a little push, then do a cease-fire, let things die down a bit, show the international community how nice you want to be, then do another little push, another cease-fire, never letting things get totally out of hand. Eventually, Idlib is cleaned out; takes some patience, but less danger of serious destabilization.

    • Karen Bartlett

      Agreed.

  • cechas vodobenikov

    it seems nobody here studies history—-empires decline gradually; wars that involve numerous nations may continue for more than several years…the current wars in the ME involve USA, UK, Canada, France, China, Israel, Iran, Russia, Turkey, etc The combatants include various nationals and ethnic groups—Uighers, Chechens, Afghans, Pakistanis, Kurds, Turks, Druze, Sudanese, Colombians, Lebanese, etc. The terrorists are well funded by the USA; according to Der Speigel many of the jihadis r not religious zealots—rather they r the poor and unemployed….reportedly these combatants receive salaries that exceed those of common people by 50-100 USD per month…we should not expect a rapid conclusion, unless the US ink supply disappears and they can no longer print dollars to pay their proxies and artificially prevent their economy from collapse