Idlib Confrontation: Tensions Rise In And Around Syria
IDLIB GOVERNORATE (SEPTEMBER 22, 2018) – Given the recent events unfolding in and around Idlib, the battle scene in and around Idlib intensifies as the country may begin to witness it’s largest confrontation since the start of the civil war.
Idlib over the past week has witnessed many demonstrations on behalf of the civilian population there. Many criticize that these were organized by the military factions of Idlib and are in themselves not authentic. Turkey this week also deployed its Special Forces to the governorate. Russia, Turkey, and Iran held a delegation conference to decide on a demilitarized zone in Idlib itself. Syria also requested an ultimatum from Turkey to separate known terrorist-harboring entities from other military factions in Idlib before it continues. A deadline of October 15 is given. Clashes have been ongoing in the past 24 hours in West Aleppo, where Aleppo City itself came under heavy mortar and missile fire.
A Russian IL-20 Surveillance craft carrying 14 servicemen was downed over the Mediterranean Sea. All 14 men were killed in the crash. The Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed that the aircraft was shot by the Syrian S-200 Air Defenses, but investigates and claims that the Israeli Air-force (IAF) is largely responsible as they were conducting missile strikes at the same time as the plane was shot, and ultimately were leading behind the aircraft. Israeli officials denied this, and presented a report claiming they informed Russia prior to airstrikes and that the aircraft was back in Israeli airspace before the Russian craft was even downed. The Israeli Ambassador to Russia is to be summoned, although reports emerge from the Kremlin that Putin appears to be unwilling to initiate communication with Israeli delegation, and answered letters and a call from Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad. Assad apologized on behalf of Syria, stating as well that he hopes the process to undermine terrorism in Syria was not affected.
Ultimately, the battle to be unfolded ahead is to be consequential for all parties in the conflict.