Humanitarian risks peaking in Idlib

Published 05.09.2019 01:54
Updated 05.09.2019 01:56

Idlib is one of the largest settlements in Syria. Unlike regions of the country where the spheres of dominance and influence have been clarified, Idlib is in limbo, as are other cities in the north. Thus, every player in the field has set their eyes on this region where civilians live in a moribund country that is in the grip of civil war and proxy terrorist organizations. So far, Turkey has largely managed to prevent infiltration and terrorist actions by forming checkpoints in Idlib. However, recently, the Russian-backed Damascus regime has started conducting military operations here. Even though these attempts, which jeopardize civilian lives, ended after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's recent visit to Russia, now the city is being hit by U.S. fighter jets. The U.S. claims that the latest attack, which killed dozens of civilians, was an operation against terrorist elements. However, it is obvious that there are other reasons why they suddenly noticed al-Qaida elements in the city during the cease-fire period, which hangs by a thread.

One of these reasons is undoubtedly the maturation of the safe zone project Turkey is trying to create east of the Euphrates River for the return of Syrian refugees. This is because the People's Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian wing of the PKK terrorist organization, has partial dominance over this area, the so-called "peace corridor." And as you know, this secular terrorist group, which the Pentagon says is fighting Daesh terrorists, is under U.S. control. Moreover, the masterminds of the YPG, which is provided with truckloads of weapons by the U.S., are the soldiers of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) in the field.

The recent U.S. assault on Idlib, where a cease-fire has been declared on Turkey's initiative, is clearly aimed at turning attention to another point.

However, Turkey is not the only actor in this game, as hundreds of thousands of civilians from Idlib have already moved toward the Turkish border. Turkey, which currently hosts nearly 4 million Syrian refugees and has already exceeded its "saturation point," cannot bear this burden. This raises the possibility that the new refugee flow will head directly toward European countries.

The first step for the U.S., Russia and the regime is to end the attacks against Idlib and other civilian settlements. Then, the entire international community, and European Union countries in particular, should support Turkey's peace corridor project as a country that has a 900-kilometer border with Syria.

Otherwise, this field of civilization, a common heritage of humanity, just like Aleppo, one of the 10 oldest cities in the world, will be destroyed like others. Civilians in the region will start moving toward Europe, risking their own lives and causing huge social, economic and political problems in countries where they are going.

This is perhaps exactly what the U.S. and Russia, places that Syrian refugees cannot reach, want.

So, what exactly does the rest of the world want?

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