Idlib has been witnessing violent clashes for weeks between the Syrian regime on the one hand, and the Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries on the other. The regime forces managed to control several strategic areas in the past days, most notably Ma'rat al-Numan, Saraqeb, and the entire international road M5. and parts of M4. Following the Syrian regime's campaign on Idlib areas, the Turkish occupation army brought thousands troops into the city, weapons and large military equipment.
Our agency interviewed Akram Hasso, the former Co-Head of the Executive Council of the Democratic Autonomous Administration in Al-Jazeera canton about this issue.
Hasso referred at the beginning of his speech to the covered Turkish intentions of establishing Turkish military points in Idlib and the occupied areas in northeastern Syria, he said" In Astana 6 tour on 14/15 September 2017, Astana Trinity agreed to establish the fourth de-escalation zone, based on the understanding memorandum on May 4, 2017, which includes parts of Aleppo, Hama and Lattakia, it lasts for six months, and could be prolonged according to the views and consensus of the guarantors," he said.
"Under this agreement, a joint coordination center was formed among Astana partners which aims at supervising and monitoring the so-called "opposition factions", the Syrian regime and agreeing to deploy observers from the guarantor states of Astana equally , so that each party has 500 observers. Turkey will monitor the "opposition factions", Iran is a watchdog for regime factions and Russians as separate forces."
Astana 6 legitimizes the Turkish and Iranian military presence in Syria.
"This is the first official Turkish-Iranian military presence enacted through Astana, which was exploited by the Turks later, in accordance with the Russians, the Turkish military deployment points became full military equipment, and turned into occupying forces of the Syrian territories" he said. "We didn't allow establishing a terrorist corridor on our borders, so far we will not allow that and we will continue to do so in the future," Turkish presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Qalin, said on the sidelines of Astana's sixth round.
Akram Hasso explained that through Astana 6 Agreement, Turkey has achieved several points:
1.Turkey has been able to transform its status as an observer into a legitimate presence on the Syrian soil for the first time and become an occupying power.
2. It paved the way for exploiting its presence, and then bartering with the Russians to occupy other parts of Afrin, outside the de-escalation zones with the help of the Russians.
3. It reserved a seat on the Syrian political solution table.
4.It linked the departure of its forces from Syria with the fall of the regime and the beginning of a political solution. It essentially maintains secret relations with the Syrian regime.
The final statement of the sixth round of Astana talks, issued on September 16, 2017, stipulated that de-escalation zones in Syria would be defined as a six-month interim measure, including the fourth region of Idlib, with the guarantor states (Russia, Turkey and Iran) deploying troops in these areas.
He also said that Turkey is one of the most destructive countries in Syria. It always aims at excluding parts of Syria and annexing it to Turkey; as it did earlier with Iskenderun region. Turkey affected badly Syria most. " we can say that Turkey is the most destructive country against Syria, obstructing the peaceful political solution and shedding the blood of the Syrians."
Erdogan is floundering in his political statements
About the Turkish President, Erdogan's claims that the Turkish presence in Syria is temporary, but he is bringing in huge military reinforcements daily to the Turkish checkpoints, Hasso noted: "The Turkish president is floundering in his political statements; He mostly exploited the Syrians, either through militarization of the revolution, the file of the displaced and refugees, or international file of support through its neighboring borders."
"However, (Erdogan) has a political record that proves that he can back down if necessary, given the financial problems that the Turkish economy is facing, Erdogan may back down again if he gets assurances on Ankara's participation in the reconstruction of Syria."
He pointed out that international circumstances and international interests will not accept the permanent occupation of Turkey for the most important geographical area in Syria, and said: "Turkey is fully aware of this and all its actions aim at transforming its occupation from military to economic occupation through the gate of the Syrian reconstruction."
Regime is trying to mix the Russian-Turkish cards
Regarding the official position of the regime of the Turkish presence, especially after the Turkish reaction in Idlib, Hasso pointed out that the Syrian regime is considered an auxiliary partner to Turkey by occupying Syrian territory, and said: "But the equation changed a lot after October 9, "In particular, the mass protests in Lebanon, Iraq and Iran have reduced the influence of the latter on the Syrian scene, weakening the regime's attitude towards the Russians and Turks, who have reached an agreement at the expense of the Syrians, even the Syrian regime."
"So all that we are see now in Idlib is the exchange of clashes and the shelling of positions by the regime on the Turkish army's deployment points is an attempt by the regime to mix the Russian-Turkish papers and scatter them in Astana Square 6, because the main concern of the regime at the moment is to survive, and it is not practical. Maintaining the unity of its territory is a priority for it at the moment."
Hasso stressed that the Turkish presence "divided Syria to small states, in the hands of its terrorist factions and under their supervision, such as mercenaries of the Liberation of the Levant, ISIS and Khorasan Organization in the north-west of Syria."
He said the regime, through Astana and Adana agreements, "is in the crosshairs of the Turkish target."
In a related context, Akram Hasso stressed the need for the Syrian regime to agree with the Autonomous Administration and reach a common consensus formula to end the Turkish occupation of Syria, saying: "There is no way to maintain the cohesion of Syrian territory and save Syria land and people only through the agreement of the regime with the Autonomous Administration of the North and East Syria, which has preserved its people and regions and is at the same time owning all the proven elements of stability in Syria."