Is Turkey’s parallel diplomacy in northern Syria starting to work? First TAF patrol, without Russia, inside Idlib along the M4
In Syria perhaps something is moving for Turkey. In the past few hours, the TAF have carried out a new patrol – this time without the Russian military – along the M4. Unlike the one with the Moscow soldiers, they entered Idlib, leaving from Trumba near Saraqeb and arriving in Masibin east of Jericho. This is despite the fact that the local population and militias have threatened attacks against any military convoy that has traveled the route within the province. Not surprisingly, Moscow blocked activities for security reasons, giving Ankara “time” to resolve the issue within its area of influence. An “armed” response has been ruled out, as Turkey cannot afford to lose the support of local rebels. Consequently, parallel diplomacy was chosen. This, after a first moment of uncertainty, seems to begin to bear fruit.
Meanwhile, Damascus sends columns of tanks between Hama and Idlib to stop a possible new Spring Shield offensive. It is feared that the probable outbreak of the Coronavirus could create chaos and put the regime at risk again
Meanwhile, Damascus continues to bomb rebels between Hama and Idlib and prepares to launch a large-scale operation. In fact, some media reported that columns of army tanks (SAA) are heading towards the northern province. Objective: to be ready if Turkey decides to reactivate the Spring Shield operation, following the failure of the truce. Even Ankara, in fact, is preparing for the eventuality, sending huge reinforcements to Syria from the Kafr Loosin crossing. So far the ceasefire holds, despite small violations on both sides, but there are fears that the situation may precipitate at any moment. Also because in the country there is the Coronavirus emergency, so far latent. But that, when it formally breaks out, could exacerbate the spirits and unleash chaos. As well as, however, still putting the regime at risk with protests and riots.
The Syrian government, in parallel, faces the COVID-19 emergency “in its own way”. The measures against contagions are conflicting
Damascus, in fact, has begun to face the problem of the possible outbreak of COVID-19 in Syria. This, even without admitting that there are already several people infected. Hundreds of people are mentioned, and the situation in Deir Ezzor and in the surrounding areas being increasingly serious. Conscription in the SAA has been abolished in the past few hours, schools and many shops have been closed, people in different areas have been asked to stay at home and the streets, public transport and offices have been disinfected. On the other hand, however, flights are still operating with Iran, the Middle Eastern country from which Coronavirus spread in the region. Furthermore, there is the issue of the refugee camps and overcrowded prisons of the Bashar Assad regime, where thousands of people are crammed. Finally, there is the fact that hospitals are unable to handle an emergency of this type.