Idlib and Syria dilemma…Did Corona delay deal? Manchitt' policy

​​​​​​​The dilemma of Idlib escalates as the violations rate of the ceasefire and military reinforcements to the region increases, but this is associated with calmness in statements between Russia and Turkey. According to observers, this indicates a deal in progress delayed due to Covid-19.

The new ceasefire entered on Thursday its 28th consecutive day, amid sporadic violations in the region every so often.

As the Turkish conveys continued to flow, the number of the vehicles entering the Syrian territory since the start of the new ceasefire as of Thursday had reached 2,150, in addition to thousands of soldiers.

Contacts between Russia, the regime and Turkey on the situation in Idlib continue, most notably the visit of the Russian defense minister, Sergei Shoigo to Damascus and his meeting with Bashar al-Assad.

"Russian-Turkish understandings have reached a high level"

The Syrian political analyst and journalist Malik al-Hafez, talked about the latest developments to Hawar News Agency: "I believe that the Russian-Turkish understandings about Idlib reached a high level after Moscow Protocol on  the 5 of the last March. We can say they have shared vision for the fate of the extremist groups  and areas of the influence in the north." He said.

He explained that the international road "M5" is under the control of the majority in favor of the Russians, although it will be managed later in partnership with the Turks, pointing out that Moscow has made several gains and taken control of a large area of the north rural, where many areas strategic, as well as  near Russian control on the road International "M4" or its surroundings to the south.

Al-Hafiz believes that this does not mean a major loss for Ankara, as  a deal that its milestones could soon be clarified on the ground "reflects itself in  the imposition of Turkish influence on areas in the northern countryside of Aleppo such as Tel Rifaat and Ming, as well as the cities of Manbij and Kobane," which raise many questions about their fate.  He said.

Talk of ceasefire collapse is unlikely

"The violations cannot stop in the light of the extremist forces that are threatening the fate of the ceasefire. Both Russia and Turkey agree that these forces will either be eliminated or withdraw and disintegrate in the north; (this is an order Turkey must take over in the first place.")  

According to Al-Hafez, talking about the ceasefire collapse is highly unlikely for several factors. The common interests of stability and expansion between Moscow and Ankara especially in the light of the outbreak of the "Covid-19" pandemic.

"Here we must look into the statement of the UN envoy to Syria, Gire Pedersen on Monday when he referred to a consensus between the delegations of Damascus and the opposition negotiating body of the Constitutional Committee on the agenda of the next round of the committee, which means that the Moscow agreement last March was satisfactory to both sides; Turkey and Russia and it is now time to return to the political track until an unknown time."

"(Hayat Tahrir Al Sham) is flogged later after the understanding with Russia about the eastern Euphrates"

As for the Russian request from Turkey to fight terrorist groups in northwestern Syria, al-Hafiz believes that "Turkey may be ready, but not at this time. Firstly, the special situation imposed by the Coronavirus,". secondly, there is a two-level course for Ankara; it is waiting for the completing the deal by controlling some areas in the northern countryside of Aleppo, completing this level, Turkey will launch a limited or broad military action targeting the extremist groups in the north, except for the " Hayat Tahrir Al Sham " (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra). Dismantling or eliminating this organization is delayed after making a deal with Moscow on the east of the Euphrates and this remains a matter of time and progress.

"Amending Adana Agreement is now resolved"

 About the visit of the Russian Defense Minister to Syria, al-Hafez said: "Shoigo's agenda was mainly the field file, which means discussing the fate of the areas of Idlib and eastern Euphrates. I think that Adana Agreement is a thing of the past. It is a resolved. it is supposed to the development of that agreement to an area of up to 30 kilometers;  as I pointed out, Turkey will not be interested penetrating more than the limits of transferring its influence to the border areas with Syria, and will leave the fate of the deep areas in the rural areas of Raqqa and Hasaka is pending the possibility of an understanding between the SDF and Damascus under Russian auspices."

"No new deal can be talked about more than said. Any deal that will be made will not be in the near future because it will be linked in one way or another to the final big deal on Syria and will not be directly bilateral," al-Hafiz said.

"U.S.-Israeli strategy against Iran in Iraq and Syria"

On the Iranian position, al-Hafez said, "Iran is fighting on different fronts determined to confront the United States because when it participated in the military campaign on the north of Syria, it was clear that it was fighting for its influence and not for Damascus's influence in that region, so it protected its small bases in the countryside "Southern Aleppo and its countryside in order to establish a later to deepen its influence in that region, although it will clash with Russia, which is opposed to its expansion as well as the U.S. confrontation and the ongoing Israeli bombardment of Iranian bases in eastern, central and southern Syria."

"The Israeli bombardment is the result of an agreed strategy between Washington and Tel Aviv, with the latter taking over the bombing of the Iranian regime-backed forces in Syria, while Washington is taking over Iranian influence on Iraqi territory," he said.

"The Israeli bombardment cannot stop since Binyamin Netanyahu is close to re-establishing the presidency of the government, which means that the policy announced by his government over the past years against Iran will continue, and may be even greater," said the Syrian journalist and political analyst Malik al-Hafez at the end of his speech. "In order to take advantage of the pressures on Iran and its foreign policies in light of its deteriorating economy, the Corona pandemic, the U.S. sanctions and the oil export crisis, as well as the problems of its arms in Lebanon and Iraq."



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