This week, newspapers touched upon the situation in Idlib and the loss of Turkey's balance in Syria, as well as the extension of the European Union sanctions on the Syrian regime.
Al-Arab newspaper said, "Turkey has intensified its contacts in the past hours with the Russian side, in what appeared to be an attempt to reach a ceasefire in Idlib and its environs, in light of a progression described to be important for the government forces backed by Russian air cover to infiltrate the defenses of jihadist groups led by Jabhet Fateh al-Sham in the southern part of the province, and the Syrian army has made a significant progress in the northern countryside of Hama, where it took control of several villages and towns, most notably Kafar Naboda, and it has been on the threshold of the administrative border of Idlib from the south. Only a few kilometers away from the Turkish surveillance points, parallel to the attempt to penetrate the southern front of Idlib from the northern countryside of Hama, the army has intended in the last two days to open a new front, in the northeastern countryside of Lattakia."
Observers believe that Turkey, despite its statements and moves, is not entitled to force Damascus and its ally Moscow to stop their operations in Idlib. They point out that Turkey will strive to exploit the situation by swapping the Russian side to gradually stop supporting the opposition and jihadist factions to gain some of the gains in support of its plans in the East Euphrates against the Kurdish People Protection Units."
Al-Quds Al-Arabi: Syria: More than half a million displaced by the military escalation of the regime and its allies in Idlib and Hama
Al-Quds al-Arabi said, "The bombing of the Syrian regime, Russia and Iranian groups in the zone of "De-escalation" caused the displacement of more than half a million civilians from their towns, villages since the Sochi agreement held last September. Most of the displaced people went to the camps near the Syrian-Turkish border in the towns of Atmat, Qah, Deir Hassen, Kafar Lussin and others, as well as the villages and towns surrounding the Turkish observation points in "De- escalation zone." The displaced people are experiencing very difficult circumstances, amid a huge lack of aid and the inability of organizations to respond to their huge number."
Al-Bayan: «SDF » chasing «Daesh» remnants in Deir ez-Zor
Al-Bayan newspaper said, "The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched a military campaign against the dormant cells of Daesh organization in the northern countryside of Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria. A statement issued by SDF said that so far, the campaign led to the capture of at least 20 militants, and discovering hideouts, two tunnels, used for hiding ammunition and weapons near the village of al-Shuhail."
Al-Hayat: EU extends its sanctions on the Syrian regime for a year
In another Syrian case, al-Hayat newspaper said, "The EU member states decided on Friday to extend the sanctions imposed on the Syrian regime until June 1, 2020, but the black list was reduced with the deletion of the names of five people and two entities. The Council of the European Union declared in a statement that the European Union decided to maintain the restrictions imposed on the Syrian regime and those who support it because of the continued repression practiced against civilians."
Al-Sharq al-Awsat: Washington vows violators of sanctions against Tehran
As for US sanctions on Iran, al-Sharq al-Awsat quoted a US State Department spokesman as saying that the United States took the alleged violations of sanctions against Iran seriously, and would take action if necessary. This came in response to a question on a tanker unloading Iranian fuel oil in a Chinese port. Reuters news agency reported on Saturday that a tanker carrying about 130 thousand tons of Iranian fuel oil unloaded its cargo in storage tanks near the Chinese city of Zhoushan.