Turkish Army Posts in Syria’s Idlib Merge With Rebel Positions

Russia says Turkey is violating past deals on Idlib

Turkish-backed Islamist rebels in Northern Syria’s Idlib Province have been getting more and more aid from Turkey to fight against the Syrian government. They are looking for direct Turkish backing by embedding closer and closer to Turkish Army posts. At this point, they’ve effectively merged.

This makes sense for the rebels to do, because having Syria attack al-Qaeda doesn’t look like a problem, but having Syria attack the Turkish military does. Making it less clear which is which ensures that every Syrian military operation is vilified.

Russian officials were critical of this tactic, saying Turkey was violating obligations they’d established in previous deals over Idlib, particularly deals when all those Turkish Army posts were established. This was done specifically so Turkey didn’t do exactly what they’re doing.

Turkey is increasingly determined to go to war with Syria over Idlib, and probably doesn’t care that they’re violating past ceasefire deals. The danger, however, is that Russia will intervene to stop these attacks, since Russia was the one Turkey was making a deal with, and it looks extremely bad for Russia to let Turkey just violate those deals for the sake of escalations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.