‘Very Tense Calm’ as Ceasefire Holds in Syria’s Idlib

Turkey rushed to get in last attacks before ceasefire began

The ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib Province began Friday, and is still holding into the evening, with locals describing their pessimism about this latest of deals between Russia and Turkey, but ultimately there has been no violence since the official beginning.

The decision to reach a ceasefire deal but not start it immediately, however, meant late Thursday was basically a freebie for Turkey’s military, as they rushed to carry out attacks before the ceasefire went into effect. Turkey said they killed 21 in the attack.

Turkey followed this up with threats for further attacks to come if Syria violated anything. So far, there is no indication that Syria is violating anything, and indeed the terms of the ceasefire generally favor Syria, allowing them to keep the highway, and southern Idlib.

Turkey, on the other hand, is seen as backing down from Erdogan’s position, which was to start a war to keep Syria from keeping any of Idlib. They had to make a deal to avoid a fight with Russia, but in doing so, they’re also forced to admit they can’t impose their will in Idlib.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.