“A BLOODBATH”: Putin And Erdogan Clash Over Syrian Fighting In Idlib Province
As American representatives at the UN has blasted the Syrian government over their campaign against terrorist-held territory in the province of Idlib, Turkish president Erdogan has chosen to disagree with his Russian counterpart on how the situation should be solved, labeling it a potential “bloodbath”.
HAMA, SYRIA (The Rational Times) — During a summit on the issue between Iran, Russia, and Turkey in Tehran, president Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that the best plan for continuing the liberation and protecting civilians in Idlib would be to implement a cease-fire plan in the region. If not, the president feared, the situation could escalate to a “bloodbath” and a national security issue for his own country.
Russian president Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, while describing a cease-fire as “good”, ultimately rejected the idea.
“The Turkish president is right, but we cannot speak for terrorists and the armed opposition because they are not here,” president Putin said, according to RT, meaning that a cease-fire would most probably either be broken by the opposition or be taken advantage of by terrorists.
The largest faction of the opposition in the Idlib province is the so-called ‘Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’ (HTS) group, which was created last year as a merger of formerly ‘al-Qaida’-aligned ‘al-Nusra Front’ and several other smaller Wahhabi terrorist organizations in the country. The second biggest group is an Islamist group called the ‘National Liberation Front’.
The third member of the summit, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, demanded that the United States immediately withdraw its troops from Syria, where they are supporting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition Ankara publically has described as “terrorists”.
According to Zero Hedge, Rouhani told his counterparts from Ankara and Moscow that “we have to force the United States to leave”, although he refrained from detailing how any of that was to be done.
As we reported last month, the battle of Idlib may be the last major direct confrontation between the Syrian army and its opponents during the civil war. While there still exist three other regions still occupied by rebel groups and the Islamic State, none of these areas are as strategically important as Idlib.
“The fires of war and bloodshed in Syria are reaching their end,” Rouhani said, reaffirming that terrorism must “be uprooted in Syria, particularly in Idlib.”