Hundreds of families flee Idlib as airstrikes resume

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani right shakes hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Tehran Iran Friday after their talks part of Russi

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani right shakes hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Tehran Iran Friday after their talks part of Russi

Turkey controls a significant amount of territory to the north of Idlib. He spoke during a summit with the leaders of Russian Federation and Iran in Tehran.

Meanwhile, the Turkish army continued to send reinforcements to Hatay and Kilis, its border province with Syria, the state agency wired. Yesterday, the leaders of Russia Syria and Turkey failed to come up with a plan to end the fighting immediately. Three US destroyers and four nuclear submarines have been deployed to the eastern Mediterranean, and US forces launched an air-assault exercise in southern Syria backed by artillery fire over the weekend.

A Syrian government offensive in Idlib would test the limits of co-operation between Turkey and Russian Federation.

Although on different sides of the war, Turkey and Russian Federation share an interest in preventing the situation from unraveling.

However, Turkey's leverage over Russian Federation and Iran is limited.

The Russian president Vladimir Putin has to decide if he is willing to ignore Erdoğan, and allow the Assad regime to attack as many as 60,000 Syrian opposition fighters, of which around 10,000 are not allied to Turkey, but instead follow the United Nations proscribed jihadist group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an offshoot of al-Qaeda's former branch in Syria.

Turkey has 12 military outposts in Idlib acting as a guarantor for the opposition per a deal it signed a year ago with Tehran and Moscow to create a de-confliction zone.

The observation posts, which were reportedly reinforced in the last couple of weeks, were established past year with the tacit agreement of the group. The majority of the displaced have headed close to the border with Turkey.




Ankara has kept communication channels open with the HTS while also backing a rebel umbrella group set up to counter the jihadists, the National Liberation Front.

While the global community continued warning against the use of chemical weapons, civilians baring the brunt of airstrikes and barrel bombs were left perplexed. But it has signalled that it is ready to co-ordinate with its rival to repel a government offensive.

Mr Erdogan called for a "truce" at a press conference after the talks.

At a Tehran summit this week with Rouhani and Putin, Erdogan asked the duo three times for a ceasefire in Idlib where his army backs the rebel forces dominated by al-Qaida's local branch Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), formerly Jabhat al-Nusra. But its options are limited.

Turkey has gone to extraordinary lengths to alleviate suffering of the Syrian people, .

The Syrian Civil Defence, better-known as the White Helmets, have released harrowing footage showing a "double tap" air strike targeting its civil rescue workers in the rebel-held province of Idlib. Around half of them are already displaced from other parts of Syria.

Some reports suggest the YPG may participate in the government offensive in Idlib.

But it appears that it will suffer a significant blow whichever way an offensive on Idlib unfolds.

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