By Ramin Hossein AbadianĀ 

Continuation of Syrian Army advancements in Idlib and escape of terrorists

August 24, 2019

TEHRAN - The Syrian army continues the operation to liberate Idlib from terrorist groups with Russian support.

But many are asking the question whether or not the Idlib liberation operation is easier or more difficult than the previous ones. Looking at the previous battles, it can be said that the battle of Idlib will be longer than the liberation operations of eastern Damascus and southern Syria, not the liberation battles around Aleppo and its eastern part.

It will not be long before the Syrian army takes control of Muttalaq-Kafrizita-Khan Sheikhun and liberates Kabani on the outskirts of Latakia, returning to the Syrian embrace peacefully or militarily.

According to Al-Jazeera, terrorists have fled the cities and towns of the northern outskirts of Hama, while the army has not yet entered the area.

But what is remarkable about the Battle of Idlib is the full support of the Russians. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says: "Based on documents signed by Russian and Turkish Presidents Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi in September last year, our Turkish counterparts have made commitments to disarm armed groups. And they announced that they would be ready, if necessary, to participate in resolving the situation and problems related to terrorist groups."

Speaking to his French counterpart, Vladimir Putin said: "We support the Syrian government's actions in Idlib and the fight against terrorism in Idlib will continue until its end."

While media report of Russian and Turkish forces clashing as Turkish forces move to Khan Sheikhun and withdrawal of Turkish airplanes, it is also said that Turkey insists on staying in Idlib and that the Russians are no longer waiting.

 "It is clear that Russia and Syria have been hampered by the actions of Turkey and the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group and have decided to use the military option and seize the last bases of armed groups dominating the city of Idlib under the leadership of Tahrir al-Sham," writes Arab analyst Abdul Bari Atwant, an Arab analyst.

This is while as Ankara promised to find a political solution to the crisis in northern Syria a year ago during a meeting of Turkish and Russian leaders in Sochi, but failed to deliver.

Russian and Syrian fighters bombed a Turkish military column, including 50 military vehicles and seven tanks, on Monday.

The column intended to prevent the Syrian army's entrance in Khan Sheikhun by reinforcing al-Nusra elements. In fact, the Syrian army's attack on Khan Sheikhun underlines an end to the agreements reached at the Sochi summit and closure of the mission of the 10 Turkish post control center in Idlib and its outskirts.

Atwan believes that Erdogan has two options: First: to stand by his supported armed groups in Idlib. Second, to disarm the armed groups and get them out of Idlib.
 

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