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  • #50156
    SA

    Of course it is. But so what? It only matters when war crimes are commuted by our enemies and that we are then able to take kneejerk retaliation without proof.

    #50158
    michael norton

    This is what is thought to have happened in Ukraine, Tehran and off the coast of Lebanon to the Russian plane, apparently brought down by Syrian air defence, attempting to deter four Israli aircraft attacking Syria.

    #50180
    michael norton

    Five Turkish soldiers were killed and five others were wounded on Monday as a result of “intense” shelling by Syrian government forces in Syria’s northern Idlib province, according to the Turkish defence ministry.

    Yes certainly getting very, very active in Northern Syria.

    #50191
    michael norton

    The Turkish Defense Ministry has confirmed that a Syrian government helicopter was destroyed in the small village of Al Nerab, southeast of Idlib. The incident occurred after Turkish troops were killed by shelling in Idlib, Syria.
    https://www.rt.com/news/480571-syrian-govt-chopper-downed/

    There seems to be an open war now in Syria.
    Between Turkey and Syria.

    #50196
    michael norton

    The Syrian army carries out attacks against terrorists in the Idlib province, not civilians , Kremlin said after Turkey threatened Damascus with military action, accusing it of shelling its soldiers.
    Turkey has failed to clear the de-escalation zone in Syria’s Idlib Province of jihadist groups, despite promising to do so under the 2018 ceasefire agreement reached by Moscow and Ankara, the spokesperson for the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

    “These groups are still attacking the Syrian forces from Idlib, as well as conducting aggressive actions against our military sites,” he said.

    Erdogan has been accusing the Syrian army of shelling Turkish soldiers and of bombing villages. On Wednesday, he threatened to strike Syrian government forces in Idlib and beyond if Turkish troops are harmed. The Kremlin’s spokesperson denied that Damascus deliberately targets anyone except the militants. “The Syrian army’s strikes in Idlib are strikes against terrorists, not civilians,” Peskov said.

    As for the shelling of Turkish forces, Moscow said that one such confirmed incident had occurred because Ankara failed to properly notify the Syrian military about its troop movements.
    https://www.rt.com/news/480660-kremlin-idlib-turkey-syria/

    Today in Parliament Ian Blackford made a fool of himself ranting about Butcher Assad, Ian seems to have no understanding, whatsoever what has been going on in Syria?

    #50209
    michael norton

    The U.N. human rights office on Wednesday released a list of more than 100 companies it said are complicit in violating Palestinian human rights by operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank – a first-ever international attempt to name and shame businesses that has drawn fierce Israeli condemnation.
    https://www.france24.com/en/20200212-un-releases-long-awaited-list-of-firms-linked-to-israeli-settlements-in-west-bank

    The Middle East is in a frenzy of change.

    #50238
    michael norton

    A Saudi Tornado fighter jet had “fallen” while carrying out a support mission near Yemeni army units,
    according to Saudi Arabia’s state news agency SPA.

    Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they shot down the plane.

    The Saudi-led coalition has been battling the rebel Houthi movement since 2015.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/51515682
    Recently two Syrian helicopters have been brought down in Idleb Province, by fighters backed by Turkey.

    #50247
    michael norton

    American troops and equipment are moving from Iraq into Syria.

    US forces stationed in Syria have started building a new military base in the oil-rich north-eastern province of Al-Hasakah near the town of Tell Brak, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported, citing anonymous sources. Its rapid construction reportedly started on 3 February with equipment and materials arriving from Iraq via the al-Waleed border crossing.

    The news agency’s sources claim that the base has been erected in order to prevent Russian forces, deployed in the Arab Republic at the behest of the government, from reaching the Rmelan oil field.
    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202002091078268685-us-troops-establish-new-military-base-in-syria-to-cut-off-roads-to-eastern-oil-fields–report/

    This is a dangerous development.

    #50256
    SA

    Michael
    I can only see this as short term spoiling tactics. If US looses access to Iraq as a friendly state, how is this oil going to be usefully exported? It would still be in a geographically isolated location under the control of the Kurds and presumably Turkey will not allow its export which will benefit the YPG. I personally think this is a diversionary tactic and is also aimed at denying Syria access to their oil but this sounds very short term its and not thought through. Also in time I am sure the Kurds in Syria and the other Arab tribes in that part will reconcile with Damascus and the US troops will have to leave. There are already some signs of cooperation in Afrin and around the Al bab area. Also the recent sweeping campaign in Idlib and Aleppo have been a great boost to the SG and it is becoming clear that a regime change is a really unviable idea now. In fact the main headache for Turkey and also Europe is how to deal with the foreign terrorists in the remains parts of Idlib? Nobody really wants the m to go back to where they came from as they will be destabilising and Erdogan’s actions in Syria now seem to indicate that he is not keen to have them in Turkey, for obvious reasons.

    #50272
    michael norton

    Very likely in Northern Syria, as happened in the enclaves in Southern Syria, there is much concern, that Islamic State or al Qadea or other special contractors will squeal when the Syrians have captured them and paraded them on television, some very hasty obfuscation/extraction/elimination is on-going.

    #50284
    michael norton

    I hope you are correct SA.
    Turkey seems to want to get in deeper.

    “The Turkish Army has sent around 300 military vehicles to its observation points in the Syrian province of Idlib”
    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202002181078342275-turkey-deploys-300-military-vehicles-to-idlib-amid-conflict-with-syria—reports/

    #50295
    michael norton

    Now Russia is getting concerned about the plans of Turkey, for Syria.
    https://www.rt.com/news/481183-russia-turkey-idlib-operation-worst-case/

    Turkey sending troops to Syria to fight against the government would be the ‘worst case scenario’, Kremlin spokesman said after Ankara threatened that such an operation was imminent.
    Turkey’s President Erdogan said on Wednesday Ankara was prepared to launch a military incursion into Idlib to force the Syrian army out. Russia’s reaction to such a development would depend on what goals the Turkish troops decide to pursue, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

    The only explanation, I can see for the imminent invasion of Syria by Turkey, is that Turkey wants to steal Northen Syria.

    #50298
    SA

    Michael
    It is difficult to say whether this is all a big bluff. Sending lots of troops is easy enough. But the remain with little air cover support. Turkish troops have now been bombed and several soldiers killed, twice with no retaliation and any serious retaliation may lead to Russian casualties and perhaps a military defeat for the Turks being invaders with longer U.K. era me supply lines unless the escalation is massive. b of the Moon of alabama It thinks it is bluff. The reaction from NATO has been lukewarm and tge economic fallout for Turkey in a major fallout with Moscow will be very serious.

    #50299
    michael norton

    Idleb is still under control of the al-Qaeda aligned Hayat Tahrir al Shams (HTS) which has continued to attack Syrian government positions, as well as civilian targets. HTS is internationally recognized as a terrorist organization, including by Turkey. But Turkey has done nothing to remove it. It instead provides the organization with weapons and other supplies.

    Turkey has all along operated in bad faith against Syria.
    Although Turkey complains at having so many Syrian people in Turkey, if they had not been one of the initiating aggressor parties, the outpouring of Syrian people, would not have happened.

    Perhaps we should look deeper for the real reasons for the Syrian “Civil” War?

    #50315
    michael norton

    Russia lets Turkey know, Russia has Turkey in its crosshairs.

    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202002201078360646-russian-su-24-planes-strike-pro-turkish-terrorists-allowing-syrian-army-to-repel-attacks/
    According to the Russian Reconciliation Centre for Syria, pro-Turkish militants, with the support of the Turkish artillery, broke through the defences of the Syrian army in the areas of Qminas and Nayrab.

    Russian Su-24 aircraft have conducted airstrikes against pro-Turkish terrorists, which allowed the Syrian troops to repel all attacks successfully, the Russian Reconciliation Centre for Syria said in a statement. “The Syrian troops destroyed one tank, six infantry fighting vehicles and five pickup trucks containing large-calibre weapons”, the message said.
    The Centre also added that four Syrian servicemen were injured by Turkish artillery. The organisation went on to say that Turkey halted shelling against Syrian government troops as soon as Russia notified Ankara that it had detected the Turkish artillery fire.

    So, know Russia is prepared to go head to head with Turkey, in Syria.

    Next move U.S.A.

    #50368
    michael norton

    There is Coronaviris in Italy, Iran, Russia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, yet not in Turkey.
    This might be a big advantage for Assad, as Turkey will expect that Coronavirus is already in Syria.
    If Erdogan does follow through, with his planned invasion and war against Syria, he may be intelligent enough to understand that Coronavirus will be brought back to Turkey by fleeing Syrian civilians/terrorists and by contractors and by Turkish personnel.
    My guess is he will rapidly withdraw his people and seal the border, completely, with Syria and Iraq and Iran.

    #50370
    michael norton

    Israel strikes Syria and Gaza, again.

    PIJ said two fighters were killed in Syria and vowed to avenge their deaths.

    Gaza’s health ministry reported that four Palestinians were wounded in the territory.

    On Monday, another 14 rockets were fired at southern Israel
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-51608786
    The hostilities escalated on Sunday morning, when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it had killed a PIJ militant near Israel’s border fence with the Gaza Strip.

    The IDF said troops identified two men attempting to plant an explosive device on the fence and opened fire at them.

    A video shared widely on social media showed an Israeli bulldozer scooping up the body of the man, provoking anger among Palestinians.

    #50372
    SA

    Shocking footageof Israelis killing a Palestinian and then dragging his body by a bulldozer. Such lack for human life and dignity is only seen in organisations such as Daesh.Indiffrnsible war crime.

    #50373
    SA

    As if we did not already know

    REVEALED: The British government’s covert propaganda campaign in Syria
    Documents obtained by MEE reveal how British contractors recruited Syrian citizen journalists – often without their knowledge – to promote ‘moderate opposition’Drawing upon British, American and Canadian funding, UK government contractors set up offices in Istanbul and Amman, where they hired members of the Syrian diaspora, who in turn recruited citizen journalists inside Syria.
    These journalists, many of them young, were commissioned to produce TV footage, radio programmes, social media, posters, magazines and even children’s comics.
    While many Syrians turned spontaneously to media activism from the start of the war, the documents describe the way in which the British government sought to guide some of their output, seeing citizen journalism as a way of covertly influencing Syrian audiences.
    The papers also make clear that those people who were recruited were often unaware that they were part of a British propaganda initiative.

    From MEE

    #50446
    michael norton

    Three Turkish soldiers killed as Syrian rebels regain key town
    President Erdogan says developments in Idleb now in Ankara’s favour, as opposition regains northwestern town of Saraqeb.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/turkish-soldiers-killed-syrian-rebels-regain-key-town-200227071603602.html
    We have three martyrs, let them rest in peace. But on the other hand, the regime’s losses are very big,” he said in a speech from Ankara.

    Syrian rebels fight to hold onto key northern town

    “Our battle will continue.

    Erdogan is brain-dead
    he talks big but he is almost insignificant.
    As the Coronavirus spreads around the middle East only a madman would seek to engauge in war.

    #50455
    michael norton

    Things are hotting up in North West Syria/Turkey.

    Turkish troops were acting inside “combat units” with jihadist militants in Idlib province when they were targeted by a Syrian government airstrike on Thursday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said.
    The airstrike was carried out when the Syrian Army was repelling a large-scale offensive by terrorist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an offshoot of Al-Qaeda in Syria, inside the Idlib ‘de-escalation zone,’
    the Russian military said on Friday.
    https://www.rt.com/news/481873-syrian-troops-conduct-attacks-on/
    thirty plus Turkish troops killed in one day, on Syrian soil.

    #50479
    SA

    Erdogan seems to be acting as if he owns the region. He is invoking protection from NATO whilst being an aggressor and invader in Syria, he would like the support of Europe, whilst threatening to open the migrant gates to flood Europe, he buys weapons from Russia whilst asking for Patriot missiles. Is there no end to this man’s absurdity.
    But the bottom line here is that Turkey was made a conduit for all the foreign fighters to go to Syria and these were armed by NATO and the west with money from KSA and the Gulf and with extreme logistic support from Turkey. Now that the tables have been turned there is no place for these terrorists to go. Certainly Erdogan does not want them to flood Turkey and neither does the EU. The answer according to Erdogan is to create a little statelet of terror in Idlib which will be a buffer between Turkey and the Kurds (mainly now used as an excuse).
    But it seems so far that everyone is paying lip service to support Erdogan, who is by the way also suffering losses in his adventures in Libya, without offering actual logistic or military help. So far Putin has played an aggressive but cautious hand a the same time, in order to force terrorists out of Idlib.
    Whilst the BBC is wringing its hands at the humanitarian catastrophe, no one mentions that this is due to support for terrorist of Al Qaeda in Syria. If these were not armed and forced to stop fighting, and maybe returned to face justice from where they came, the ‘humanitarian ‘problem is unlikely to resolve.

    #50480
    SA

    Some items from around the world:
    Sputnikreports that Erdogan wants Russia to get out of the way so he can deal with Syria directly!

    Idlib Escalation Is Slowly Pushing Turkey Towards Open Conflict With Russia

    From South FrontFrom South FrontFrom South Front
    NATO can do nothing because Turkey was attacked in Syria. According to article 5, you can do nothing. From Elijah MagnierElijah MagnierElijah Magnier
    And this is the statement from NATO offering moral support only.
    And even the issue of the immigrants is causing a rift within NATO as Greece, in the front line of the refugee entrance to Europe, vetoes support for Turkey through NATO

    #50481
    michael norton

    New York, SANA-Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari, said on Thursday that some countries seek to turn Security council into a platform for NATO to support the Turkish aggression on Syrian territories, and this undermines the international organization’s role in keeping world peace and security.

    Al-Jaafari added at a Security council’s session on the situation in the Middle East that the UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs violates his custody and tries to defame Syria through the misleading campaign he practices about the reality of situation in the country.

    He went on to say that securing Aleppo city completely by the Syrian Arab army has given its citizens feeling of security as their city came out of the range of terrorism and spite shells.

    Al-Jaafari affirmed that Syria calls on countries that have dominance on the Turkish regime and the affiliated terrorist organizations to oblige them to allow a million of Syrians, who were forced to flee the acts of Turkish aggression, to return home.

    Al-Jaafari: Some countries seek to turn Security council into a platform for NATO to support Turkish aggression on Syrian territories

    It seems to me that Erdogan has a way out of this mess he is in, in Northern Syria.
    His saviour could be Coronavirs.
    He could withdraw his troops/”contractors” from Idleb Province, using the grounds of preventing this disease from spreading North into Turkey.
    Everyone knows that war and refugees spread disease.
    Erdogan could then at last, seal his Southern border.
    However his troops/”contractors” are spread all along the North of Syria, this would only work if he brings them all home quickly.

    He has about five minutes to make a decision.
    War and pestilence or peace and prosperity.
    Turkey is truly at the crossroads of fortune.

    #50487
    michael norton

    Syrians claimed to have downed a Turkish aircraft.

    The Russian Air Force is back to launching heavy strikes over the Idlib Governorate, as their warplanes were reported to have carried out several attacks against the Turkish-backed militants and jihadists in the Jabal Al-Zawiya and Jisr Al-Shughour areas.

    According to a military source in northwestern Syria, the Russian Air Force has stepped up their strikes over the Idlib Governorate these past 12 hours, hitting several sites belonging to the Turkish-backed National Liberation Front (NLF) and their jihadist allies.

    Turkey are starting a full scale invasion of Northern Syria.
    This is war.

    #50491
    SA

    It is sad to see that the progress of the SAA with the help of RuAF has not only come to a halt but has been partially reversed. This is due to either Russia getting cold feet and possible threats of US and NATO retaliations, or to a genuine misreading of events, according to Elijah Magnier. In any case it now looks rather grim and to cap it all there is another uprising in Dara’a.

    #50505
    michael norton

    Russian Defense Ministry: “Safety of Turkish planes can’t be guaranteed over Syria”

    I think that is a slightly coded message, if you fly over Syria we will destroy you.

    Russian Defense Ministry: Safety of Turkish planes can’t be guaranteed over Syria

    The Turks are bussing thousands of refugees to the border with Greece and helping them get through the wire into Europe.

    #50520
    SA

    The situation is fast moving and yesterday was a gloomy day. I wondered how Russia could let armed Turkish drones fly into Syria and upset the recent SAA gains and get away with it. But the Turkish gains are being reversed and who knows what goes on behind the scene.
    From the article you refer to above

    Russian Defense Ministry: Safety of Turkish planes can’t be guaranteed over Syria

    there can be two interpretations. One that we have let the Syrians activate their defence systems and the other one is that we (the Russians) will personally protect Syrian airspace.

    But laterally also, I see no proof yet of the efficacy of the S-300 or 400 in real action, nothing has been proven. On paper it is all supposed to be the best system but their has only been one plane shot over Syria recently, the Israeli F-16. I would have thought that therefore the efficacy remains to be proven and the |Russians have been rather slow to demonstrate this against real manned aeroplanes although there are reports of efficacy against missiles and drones. Any thoughts?

    #50521
    michael norton

    Today Israel announces that they now have ten Coronavis victims,
    Coronavirus also now in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Greece, U.A.E., Oman, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerjabian, Russia but no cases yet in Turkey or Syria.
    It seems quite unbelievable that it is not in Turkey or Syria
    but as we know war and mass movements of people spreade disease.
    Erdogan must be almost brain-dead to continue with his campaign, as the World goes in to virtual lock-down over Coronavirus, does this president think Turkey is immune?
    Nobody is going to help Turkey, his economy will collapse and hopefully his hate-filled regime will implode, soon.

    #50534
    michael norton

    Erdogan has painted himself in to a corner.
    As Coronavirus rages around the World and possibly we enter a World Recession, evry country will have much more pressing concerns, than the trouble Erdogan finds himself in, in addition in 130 days there is a presidential election in Am,erica, which is Donald Trump’s to lose.
    Donald has been trying to extract America from Afghanistan and Syria, he really does not need a Middle East flare up, before the U.S.A. election. Trump is already pissed off with Erdogan, as is shown by the coup, that faile to remove Erdogan a couple of years ago.
    Trump has removed Turkey as a partner from the most expensive military programme, of all time, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
    Turkey has stopped America from using Incerlik, which was paid for by the Americans.
    Incirlik was probably built as a precursor to the Syrian “Civil” War.
    Turkey should not want to piss off Putin, too much, Turkstream will benefit Turkey as well as Russia.
    If Erdogan annoys Putin too much, he may cancel the S-400 Triumf for Turkey.

    The Turkish Economy is already on the ropes.
    There are two options for Erdogan, he can withdraw and possibly survive.
    Or he can cause war between Turkey and Syria, which will force Putin to choose.
    Putin may choose not to go deeper.
    If I were Erdogan I would choose the safer option of withdraw and survive.

    There will be more news coverage that Edogan’s troops are embedded with terrorists, he is training, supplying and encouraging them.
    They flow, to and froe across the border with Turkey.

    #50536
    michael norton

    Washington, US Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has affirmed that the Turkish regime headed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been supporting Daesh (ISIS) and al-Qaeda from behind the scenes for long years, and now it has been forced to show this role which it has played against the Syrian Government from years ago.

    In a video published on her account on Twitter, Gabbard indicated that Erdogan is the most dangerous dictator in the world, and he is not a friend for the U.S.

    Gabbard noted that Erdogan wants to restore the Ottoman empire and he is working with al-Qaeda and other terrorist organization to achieve that goal.

    Virtually all the war material that has been used against Syrian, came via Turkey, although others might have financed this war. Virtually all the terrorists entered Syria via Turkey.
    Most of the terrorists were not Syrian.

    #50548
    michael norton

    Donald Trump backs Greece to do all it can to seal its border with Turkey.

    Concerning the decision to stop accepting asylum applications, the government repeated that Greece was faced with an “active, serious, exceptional and asymmetric threat,” that appeared to be orchestrated by Turkey, with gathered individuals attempting to forcibly and illegally enter Greek territory.

    USA backs Greece’s constitution obligation to protect its borders

    #50571
    michael norton

    Turkish officials have said a man was fatally wounded when Greek security forces opened fire as migrants gathered at the border on Wednesday.

    Greece immediately issued a flat denial, saying it was not involved in any such incident involving gunfire.

    Thousands of people have headed to the border after Turkey said it would no longer stop migrants crossing.

    Greece has also denied claims that two Syrians were fatally shot while trying to cross the border last night.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-51735715

    It might help if Turkey was not forcibly bussing migrants to the Greek border and enabling them to cut through the wire.

    Athens claims Turkish police are firing tear gas “to help migrants cross border”

    #50572
    michael norton

    Damascus, SANA- Syria stressed that US officials’ illegitimate infiltration into the Syrian territories in Idleb devotes the truth that the US administration considers itself to be above international law and UN charters.

    An official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry told SANA Wednesday that the illegitimate infiltration of a number of US officials into the Syrian territories in Idleb province is but a dedication of the fact that the US administration considers itself to be above the international law and the UN charters which emphasize the respect of states’ sovereignty and non-interference in their affairs.

    The source added that this US move which has been made in collusion with the Turkish regime uncovers and reaffirms the devastating role of the US in supporting the Turkish aggression and complicating the situation in Syria, as well as the US efforts to cover the crimes of the terrorist groups and to prevent their complete elimination after the field victories which have been achieved by the Syrian Arab Army.

    The source went on to say that the Syrian Arab Republic denounces and condemns in the strongest terms the behavior of thievery and banditry of the US administration and the Turkish regime, asserting that it isn’t surprised by the infiltration of the US officials this way after they have offered all kinds of support to the terrorist groups, including transporting them into Syria in a flagrant violation of all UN resolutions related to combating terrorism.

    It is a very good question, why does the United States of America continue to involve itself in Syria, on the ground?
    There is some devilish doings between Turkey and U.S.A. and Israel to do their utmost to destroy Syria as a functioning country.

    Yet the United Nations barely notices?

    #50591
    michael norton

    Two civilian airplanes bound for Qatar were reportedly used as cover by Israeli jets,
    launching missiles from Lebanese airspace,
    against targets near the Syrian cities of Homs and Quneitra.

    Syrian air defenses engaged incoming missiles shortly after midnight local time on Thursday, both near Homs in central Syria and Quneitra in the south, on the armistice line with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
    Following the attack, reports appeared that at least two flights – one passenger, one cargo – had to change course to avoid getting struck by air defense missiles.

    Once again despicable Israeli tactics, war crimes, again.

    #50611
    michael norton

    Peace in our time,
    for now.
    Looks like President Erdogan has agreed to calm down.

    #50619
    SA

    The new Russia Turkey agreement on de-escalation in Idlib is a rather abrupt document which is remarkable not only in saying what has been agreed, but in omitting mention of important facts on the ground.

    The five hours and 45 minutes of talks between Russia and Turkey produced a seemingly modest set of deliverables. However, it’s clear that none of the three points the presidents signed onto in what is officially called the “Additional Protocol to the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-Escalation Area” came easy — especially, perhaps, for the Turkish side. Eventually, Putin and Erdogan agreed to “cease all military actions along the line of contact” starting at 12:01 a.m. March 6; establish a security corridor 6 kilometers (nearly 4 miles) deep to the north and 6 kilometers deep to the south from highway M4; and, starting March 15, to launch joint Turkish-Russian patrols along highway M4 from the settlement of Trumba (2 kilometers, or roughly a mile, to the west of Saraqeb) to the settlement of Ain al-Havr.

    Source: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/03/russia-turkey-deal-idlib-important-putin-erdogan.html

    Perhaps one of the most remarkable things that the protocol didn’t mention was the M5 highway. This may suggest that Turkey had to recognize its current status. If so, this itself may be a key step toward Syrian President Bashar al-Assad taking control over the rest of the country and securing passage to the north. The no-fly zone is also off the table, which is a win for Damascus. The issue of Turkish observation posts south of the M4 is also an interesting matter to watch and is likely to be one of the hardest for the two militaries to settle. The issue of refugees is a big uncertainty at this stage but Putin has now seems to have the cards to package it in his conversations with the Europeans as his personal contribution to halt the flow of new migrants to Europe.

    Also when you look at the map of what is left of Idlib under the terrorists you can see that a corridor of 6 km north and south of the M4 will create a rebel held pocket including parts of northern Hama and Latakia provinces, how is that going to be managed?
    The agreement does allow Turkey to continue to occupy parts of Idlib of course and also relies heavily on the goodwill of Erdogan in adhering to the agreement which is really an annexe to the 2018 agreement which should have guaranteed the opening of the M5 and M4, so whether this agreement will hold, remains to be seen. Here is the text of the 2018 agreement:

    Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-escalation Area
    The Republic of Turkey and the Russian Federation, as guarantors of the observance of the ceasefire regime in the Syrian Arab Republic, -guided by memorandum on creation of de-escalation areas in the Syrian Arab Republic as of May 4, 2017 and arrangements achieved in the Astana Process -in order to stabilize the situation in the Idlib de-escalation area as soon as possible,
    Have agreed on the following:

    1. The Idlip de-escalation area will be preserved and Turkish observation posts will be fortified and continue to function.
    2. The Russian Federation will take all necessary measures to ensure that military operations and attacks on Idlib will be avoided and the existing status quo will be maintained.
    3. A demilitarized zone, 15-20 kms deep in the de-escalation area will be established.
    4. The delineation of exact lines of the demilitarised zone will be determined through further consultations.
    5. All radical terrorist groups will be removed from the demilitarised zone by October 15.
    6. All tanks, MLRS, artillery and mortars belonging to conflicting parties will be withdrawn from the demilitarised zone by October 10, 2018.
    7. Turkish Armed Forces and the military police of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will conduct coordinated patrols and monitoring with UAVs along the boundaries of the demilitarised zone.
    With a view to ensuring free movement of local residents and goods and restoring trade and economic relations:
    8. Transit traffic on the routes M4 (Aleppo-Latakia) and M5 (Aleppo-Hama) will be restored by the end of 2018.
    9. Effective measures will be taken for ensuring sustainable ceasefire regime within the Idlib de-escalation area. In this regard, the functions of the Joint Iranian-Russian-Turkish Coordination Center will be enhanced.
    10. The two sides reiterated their determination to combat terrorism in Syria in all forms and manifestations.

    Done in Sochi on September, 17, 2018 in two copies, both in English and Russian having equal legal force.
    Signatures:
    For the Republic of Turkey
    For the Russian Federation

    The text of the current agreement is available here

    #50620
    SA

    Sorry for repetitions and parts of the quotes that are not quotes but my opinion. I am not sure what happened.

    [ Mod: You deserve an award for the most error-riddled contribution to the forum yet. There were ‘blockquote’ tags dispersed liberally throughout both the quotes and your own writing, with no regard to closing them off; the end-of-line formatting in the quotes had to be redone completely; one paragraph of your own was repeated as an embedded quote; a long section of text was repeated amongst another paragraph; the final URL pointed to the wrong page; you didn’t give a link for the agreement itself; some words were missing from the last item; not to mention the typos (e.g. “ahreement”). The blockquotes were too dominant, so they were reformatted as indented paragraphs instead.

    I did my best to make sense of it, but it was a complex task. Next time, just repost a corrected version and ask the mods to delete the first attempt. Thanks. ]

    #50657
    SA

    Sorry mods for giving you such a complex task and for such an error ridden post. Thanks for the corrections and the ‘award’.


    [ Mod: You’re welcome. ]

    #50659
    michael norton

    It looks like Erdogan has been offered an easy option by Putin.
    The options narrowed to these
    1) Go full on invading Syria Mr.Erdogan.
    We will bring the full force of our airforce and our air defences to bare, we will transport s-400 Triumf
    to Aleppo and lock-on to Turkish targets.
    2) Give the appearance of reasonableness, co-operate with Russia and Syria and we will let you save some face in Public.
    3) Withdraw your forces before we destroy them.

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