On Saturday morning, Arab newspapers focused on the situation in Idlib, in addition to Libyan developments, and the US-Iranian tension.
Al-Bayan: The circle of the Russian-Turkish dispute is expanding over Idlib
The Arab newspapers published this morning on the Syrian issue dealt with several topics, the most prominent of which was the dispute in Idlib. In this context, Al Bayan newspaper said: “The gap between the Turkish and Russian influence in northwestern Syria is still wide, while some see it widening due to the depth of disagreements about the situation in Idlib, especially after last Wednesday's consultations ended without reaching understandings between the two parties.
The dispute became apparent after Ankara rejected a Russian proposal to reduce the number of Turkish observation points in Idlib governorate, during the military meetings last Wednesday, but Russian sources said that Ankara agreed to withdraw heavy weapons from the city of Idlib and its countryside.
In light of the Russian-Turkish talks and the attempt to reach an understanding, the Syrian army continues to make progress on the ground through military skirmishes while the two delegations were meeting in Ankara, which means that there is Russian approval for the expansion of the Syrian army's control areas.
In a step towards pressure on Ankara, a group of civilians and soldiers advanced to the Turkish observation posts in al-Mastouma, south of Idlib, in a move to displace the Turkish observation points.
Russia holds Ankara responsible for not adhering to the common understandings regarding the situation in the areas controlled by the armed factions, as the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Turkey was “procrastinating” in the implementation of its obligations under the ceasefire agreement in Idlib.
In a previous press conference, it explained, "Ankara's implementation of its obligations stipulated in the Russian-Turkish memorandum concluded on March 5 this year is being stalled."
Turkey responded to the failure of the meeting last Wednesday, by threatening a military operation in Idlib, where Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the political process in Idlib may end in the absence of an agreement with Russia, explaining that the meetings between Russian and Turkish military experts in Ankara, Last week, it was not very fruitful, which confirmed the depth of the gap between the two parties over the details of the military situation in Idlib.
In the event that the divergence in positions continues between the two main parties concerned with the situation in Idlib, the situation is a candidate for new military action, and the Syrian army may be part of this work, as it does not hide its insistence on re-controlling the city and controlling the crossings of sovereign and economic importance.
Al-Arab: Al-Sarraj angered Erdogan by leaving before implementing his demands
Regarding the Libyan issue, Al-Arab newspaper said: “The anger expressed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding the intention of the President of the Presidency Council of the Libyan Government of National Accord Fayez al-Sarraj to step down from his post at the end of next October indicates that Al-Sarraj did not complete everything that was asked of him by the Turks during the period. "The past in exchange for the intervention to repel the attack carried out by the army led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar to control the capital, Tripoli."
The Turkish President's annoyance raises questions from observers of Libyan political affairs, who attributed that anger to one of the two reasons, either economic or political, excluding the existence of a military reason given that most of the brigades communicate with Turkey directly, and most of them are loyal to the Minister of Interior in the Government of National Accord Fathi Bashagha.
Commenting on al-Sarraj’s decision to step down, Erdogan said, "A development like this ... hearing such news was disturbing for us," indicating that Turkish delegations may hold talks with al-Sarraj government next week.
He added, "Through these meetings, God willing, we will turn the matter in the required direction."
Reuters quoted a Turkish official as saying that "the announcement of Sarraj's resignation was the second surprise in recent times for Ankara with regard to Libya, after announcing a ceasefire last month."
"We would prefer al-Sarraj to remain in his position, because under his leadership it is possible for a unified Libya to emerge capable of solving its problems," the official added.
He explained, "If al-Sarraj leaves his post, there are some names involved in the process and can take over the government of national reconciliation. These are of course issues specific to Libya, but Turkey may provide some support."
In order to understand the real reason for the Turkish annoyance with al-Sarraj's decision, it is necessary to determine his position, weight, and importance on the ground, as the recent protests and the review of militias and military leaders loyal to Fathi Bashagha have proven that al-Sarraj does not have any popularity or military weight despite being the supreme commander of the army, so his importance in relation to Turks are almost limited to the power to sign economic agreements.
Observers explain this annoyance that there may be economic understandings, most likely, between al-Sarraj and Ankara that have not been implemented, not excluding that they are related to the ports, especially the port of Misurata, in which Italian media reports recently talked about the start of preparations to establish a Turkish naval military base inside it, while other reports spoke. Turkish ambitions to control the entire seaports in western Libya.
Al-Sharq al-Awsat: Trump to punish violators of the arms embargo on Iran
On the Iranian issue, Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper said: “Leaks from within the US administration revealed President Donald Trump's intention to issue an executive order during the coming days, allowing him to impose sanctions on any person or party that violates the conventional arms embargo imposed on Iran, after he faced opposition in the Council. International Security Council, on extending the law on arms embargoes on Iran that was submitted by his administration.
Reuters quoted 4 American sources as saying that the order is expected to be issued in the coming days. One of them said the move was intended to show that Washington is not backing down despite its failure to gain Security Council support.
A second source, a European diplomat, said the new executive order would support Washington's assertion that the international arms embargo will remain in place beyond October.
In conjunction with this measure, the US Navy announced yesterday that the aircraft carrier "Nimitz" and naval battleships passed through the Strait of Hormuz, yesterday, before entering the Gulf.