by Stephen Lendman
On September 17, Vladimir Putin let Turkish despot Erdogan deceive him into delaying Iblib province, Syria’s liberation.
It’s the last US, NATO, Israeli, Saudi, UAE, Turkish supported terrorist stronghold in the country.
Putin and Erdogan agreed on establishing a 15 – 20 km-wide demilitarized zone in Idlib along the Turkish border.
The plan was for Russian and Turkish forces to control it for an interim period ahead of delayed liberating efforts.
Things haven’t worked out as planned. For the past three months, thousands of al-Nusra and other terrorists reinforced their ranks. Weapons supplied by the US, other Western states, Israel, Ankara and Riyadh freely flow cross-border from Turkey into Idlib.
Terrorists holding province civilians hostage are now a more formidable fighting force than months earlier - because of Erdogan’s betrayal, Putin going along with what he should have rejected.
Terrorists in the province, including the deescalation zone, use their entrenched positions as a platform to attack Syrian military forces and civilians.
It’s no surprise that they continue flagrantly violating what Putin and Erdogan agreed on. The untenable situation won’t end until the unacceptably delayed liberating campaign begins in earnest, eliminating the scourge of their presence once for all.
On Tuesday, SouthFront said terrorists infesting Idlib “continue to violate (last September’s) ceasefire (agreement) in Idlib’s deescalation zone…almost on a daily basis” over the past three months.
Backed by Washington and its imperial partners, they’re terrorizing Iblib civilians, along with shelling and otherwise attacking Syrian forces and civilians in Hama, Aleppo and Latakia.
On Monday, Russian reconciliation center in Syria head Sergei Solomatin said the following:
On a virtual daily basis, “shelling attacks by (US-supported terrorists continue) from the settlements of Darh Abu-Assad, Safsara, Ikko, Arafit, Sandran (twice) and Jubb al-Zarur in the Latakia governorate, the settlements of Tell Maraq, Tell Bazam, Tell al-Maqtaa and Achan in the Hama governorate, and Aleppo’s Suqqari, Sakibiya, Zakhabiya, Makanis al-Duwairy neighborhoods and the area around the research center.”
On Sunday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem called liberating Idlib from US-supported terrorists “our (top) priority.” Dialogue doesn’t work. The only option is force.
He accused Turkey of violating the September Idlib deescalation zone agreement. Erdogan supports the scourge of terrorism in the province and elsewhere in Syria he pretends to oppose.
Separately, Syria’s military announced that henceforth it will respond to Israeli attacks on its territory by similar ones against the Netanyahu regime.
An unnamed official said “this means that a strike on an airport in Syria will be met with a strike on an airport in Israel and so on.”
Russia’s Defense Ministry supplied Syria with medium and long-range missiles. Guided by its GLONASS satellite navigation system, they can strike targets anywhere in Israel accurately.
Moscow reportedly OK’d the policy change to aid Damascus defend its sovereign territory, protect its forces, as well as aid allied fighters and advisors in the country.
It’s also in response to Israel’s responsibility for downing a Russian IL-20 reconnaissance aircraft last September, killing its crew members, an action infuriating Moscow.
Russia informed Israel and the US that its military and support personnel are deployed at virtually every Syrian base. Its Defense Ministry will respond against any attacks threatening them.
A Final Comment
Western media, al-Jazeera and RT reported that on December 18, warring parties were largely observing ceasefire terms agreed to in Sweden.
AMN News and SouthFront reported otherwise. Fighting continues on the day it was supposed to cease entirely.
Ceasefire is more illusion than reality. More in future reports on events on the ground as they unfold.