Idlib is the place where Syria's seven-year bloody civil war has recently become deadlocked. Following the trilateral summit in Tehran, Iran, Turkey exerted incredible diplomatic efforts to avoid another human tragedy in Idlib, bringing a sigh of relief to the world. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, making Russia accept a 20-km secure line, has turned a new page in the Syria issue.
This was and still is an important success, and Turkey has undertaken a historic task with the humanitarian and moral stance it has upheld in Syria since the beginning. This last move showed that Turkey is an influential player not only in regional, but also in global politics. Turkey did this despite the insistent imposition to "meet with Assad." Turkey managed this and what it will do now is an object of curiosity. The answer is up to the attitude of armed organizations in Idlib, Turkey's efforts and how these efforts will be received there.
According to the many experts who are closely monitoring the developments in Idlib, the armed Syrian opposition, which has some 70,000-80,000 members trapped in Idlib, has been clustered around three root organizations. At the beginning of August, a new umbrella organization, the National Liberation Front, was established with the participation of 11 organizations that constitute the Syrian Liberation Front.
So, in Idlib, there are three big alliances in the National Liberation Front that is affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) that is the offspring of the Nusra Front, and Hurras al-Deen that is a radical organization directly affiliated with al-Qaeda and has some 4,000-5,000 recruits.
What is interesting is that with Turkey's contributions as well, many organizations in the region that are the continuation of the Nusra Front and involved in the HTS have joined the moderate opposition in the past year.
It is said that the National Liberation Front will more easily adapt to the new period as it previously contributed to Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations.
The most important risk is the HTS terrorist organization. It is highly likely that Turkey will fight the HTS. So, Turkey's first step in this process will be to push the moderate opposition to safe zones and isolate the HTS. If the HTS does not agree to lay down arms and to dissolve, as a result of possible operations by Turkey and the FSA, local and dispersed conflict dynamics might emerge in the region that could take a few weeks to a few months.
We will see how the first risk goes. However, it is unlikely that the opposition will lose power in negotiations, as Turkey is a party there. And Turkey is currently conducting serious work in the field. If the regime forces, Shiite militias or any other malevolent force do not make an unexpected hot move, the strategy presented in Sochi is likely to come into effect until Oct. 15. First of all, this will be a historical step in the name of humanity and favor Turkey and Russia. Turkey, which has achieved this, is indisputably an important player in the political process.