As the continuation of nine years of Syrian civil wars is entering its final stage, Turkey and Russia, Long term allies as Syria and Russia are on the brink of war over Idlib, the Syrian province. Both the opponents are sending warning signals to one another as diplomacy has failed again and again to try to de-escalate the conflict between the countries.
The Syrian regime airstrike’s have killed 33 Turkish soldiers in the city of Idlib, which is situated in northwestern Syria overnight and has caused a major issue that has lead Syria and Russia are on the brink of war over Idlib.
The reason why it all started?
In September 2018, Iran, Russia, and Turkey signed an accord, aka Sochi accord. The reason for this agreement was to create a de-escalation zone in the province of Idlib to prohibit violent hostilities that have cost many lives of innocent people. Under this accord, the opposition forces were classified as mainstream. They were ordered to pull heavy weaponry out of the zone and the jihadist group to evacuate the place completely.
Even after a year of not following the protocol by not vacating the zone, the Syrian government launched an offensive attack on the mainstream forces and the jihadist group in December 2019 which lead to the displacement of more than nine hundred thousand of civilians
On February 3, the current Turkish President Tayyib Erdogan openly challenged Russia with a visit to the country’s neighbor Ukraine, at which he pledged two hundred million United States dollars for military aiding. Russia has blamed Turkey that the country was not following the obligations and is weaponizing people that are considered terrorists by the Russian government.
To counter this accusation, the Turkish president said that the Syrian and Russian governments are spilling innocent blood and attacking civilians. Syria and Russia are on the brink of war over Idlib that has to lead to the spread of major fear and the thoughts of inevitable civilian sufferings. Even now, more than a million innocent civilians are living in makeshift homes and doing anything to survive.
How and Why did this happen?
In the early morning on Thursday, February 26, 2020, Turkey-backed Syrian opposition recaptured the strategic town of Saraqeb in Idlib after the regime broke the Astana deal and occupied the town. This town is located at the crossroads of Syria’s main two highways and so was considered a major setback for Russian backed Syrian regime forces. But then, during the late hours of Thursday, the Syrian regime targeted and killed 33 Turkish soldiers during a treacherous attack. Russia, which plays the role of a key partner in all this, remains Syria’s main supporter in this escalation and speculation is rife over Syria’s ability to conduct such an attack without Russian assistance.
The breakdown of the deal between these countries has prompted Ankara to deploy 12,000 troops in the beginning of February to shore up the deal and protect the border.
Turkish defense minister states that the attacks that occurred happened despite sharing Turkish coordinated with Russia. He also detailed how the airstrike hit the Turkish operation outpost multiple times. And the attacks continued even after when Turkish soldiers took refuge in a nearby building.
Even the ambulances rushing to carry the injured were targeted. It was further confirmed that turkey retailed by hitting 200 Syrian regime targets for Russian Special forces operators.
With Syria and Russia on the brink of war over Idlib, the Turkish government has announced that it will open its borders for free refugee movement into the country from Syria and allow refugees in Turkey to move onwards into Europe. Almost one million Syrian refugees have been displaced as a result of Syria, and Russia is on the brink of war over Idlib.
Turkey is the world’s largest host of refugees, with approx 3.7 million Syrians. The country is now making it clear that without European Union and NATO support, it will no longer act as a buffer to all that is happening in Syria, even if Syria and Russia are on the brink of war over Idlib.