Watch: Idlib war update (5 February 2020)

I received questions on my social media accounts asking me: where did the Syrian Army reach in Idlib? And my answer is: before the question or after? Because the map of control is changing at every moment. In this video, I will try to summarize the most important updates after the recent video on Idlib.

This was the map of control over Idlib on 29th of January 2020, it was obvious after capturing Maaret Numan that the SAA will advance to the north in order to liberate Saraqeb. This is logical because the SAA is trying to reopen the M5 highway between Aleppo, Idlib, Hama, Homs and Damascus. During the last video, I said the SAA might try to advance towards the east in order to create a foothold over the M4 highway. This turned to be true, but I thought the SAA will advance towards Ariha. Instead, the SAA advanced towards Nayrab which is also located on the M4 highway. This left us in surprise, even the enemies of SAA were shocked by this surprise military manoeuvre. Now, if we check the map of control again and the locations of intense SAA bombardment, we could say the government forces are preparing to advance towards Sarmin in order to block all the roads that lead to Idlib from the east. Additionally, the SAA is preparing to advance towards Saraqeb. However, the map of control might change before I upload this video.

On a broader geopolitical scene, Turkey has weighed in again and tried to block the advancing troops against Al-Qaeda in Idlib. However, the SAA bombed a Turkish post killing 9 Turkish soldiers. The Russian ministry of defence said the Turkish side didn’t inform the Russian side about the presence of Turkish forces there, which is something I don’t really believe, because the Russian MoD also said the Turkish soldiers were targeted in a post where the SAA was fighting the terrorists. In my opinion, both the Syrian and Russian sides had prior knowledge on the Turkish stationed forces, and this was a message to Ankara that Damascus will not tolerate any attempt in foiling the liberation of Idlib.

Although Erdogan has a big mouth and threatened to retaliate against the SAA, he said hours later that Ankara and Moscow should resolve differences over the conflict in Syria’s Idlib without anger. Without anger? If Turkey wants to spare bloodshed and stop losing more troops, then Erdogan should withdraw its occupation forces from Syria, because the General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces, stressed yesterday that the presence of the Turkish forces is illegal and constitutes a flagrant hostile act and said that the Syrian Army is ready to respond promptly to any assault by these forces against our forces operating in the region.

Finally, pro-Turkish sites claimed yesterday that Turkey has taken revenge for the killing of its troops in Syria and retaliated against tens of SAA posts, killing tens of Syrian soldiers. Unfortunately, some pro-Syria outlets quoted these pro-Erdogan websites without double-checking. In fact, Turkey neither bombed SAA posts yesterday, nor tens of Syrian soldiers died. These were simply fake news.

Now, in your opinion, do you think Turkey will abide by the Sochi agreement and fight the terrorists in Idlib or will Ankara continue supporting Al-Qaeda risking its relations again with Moscow?

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