One Last Ceasefire Before Oblivion for Jihadists in Syria
One Last Ceasefire Before Oblivion for Jihadists in Syria by Tom Luongo for Gold, Goats and Guns
The battle to reclaim Syria moved forward this week. Syrian Arab Army forces reclaimed the town of Khan Sheikoun last week prompting a flurry of moves by all involved, most notably Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan was in Moscow this week sharing an ice cream cone with Vladimir Putin and cutting deals. The first part of that deal went into effect today; a ceasefire in the de-escalation zone in Idlib province.
If the battle is won, in essence, and the jihadists on the run, why call a ceasefire now?
Simple. Turkey needs to be able to recall its troops from the area and disengage with the rebels it has been backing there for years. That was what Erdogan bargained for in Moscow, the lives of his troops.
That should tell you how serious Putin is about retaking Idlib and how little patience he has now for Erdogan’s nonsense.
As Bernard from Moon of Alabama points out the proof of this is Turkey blocking the rebels’ escape from Idlib back into Turkey.
Today about a thousand ‘rebels’ tried to cross through the Al-Bab border station into Turkey. Videos show a long line of cars of fleeing people. At the front several hundred men managed to enter Turkish ground. They were pushed back by Turkish army forces with water cannon trucks, tear gas and finally with gunfire. At least two ‘rebels’ were killed.
People shouted “Traitor traitor traitor, Turkish army is traitor”. They burned pictures of Erdogan while screaming takbir and allahu akbar.
Putin has been very clear about his policy from the beginning. Terrorists are to be wiped out. They are not to be allowed to escape and regroup to show up and cause trouble somewhere else.
The implicit message here is that Erdogan cannot do the U.S.’s bidding on this. He must withdraw support from them and leave them to hang.
If the U.S. and Israel want these guys kept alive then they should stop acting through Turkey’s proxy.
The howls from the U.S. corporate media will be ridiculous. There will be infuriating bloviations from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. John Bolton’s mustache will be heartsick that opportunities to kill more decent people will be lost.
Netanyahu will likely bomb some SAA ammunition dump and declare himself the greatest military mind of the 21st century.