Residents of Idleb expressed their fears of a military operation by the Syrian government and its affiliated militias, as well as overambitious Turkish positions, which failed to foil the government’s advance in the southern and eastern Idleb countryside.
Meanwhile, the Syrian government and Russia’s mobilization on the outskirts of Jabal al-Zawiya and the countryside of both Hama and Lattakia, also increases residents’ fears.
Idleb resident Mustafa Hamid told North Press that upcoming military operations between the Syrian government and pro-government militias and armed opposition groups “are going to start, even if they are late.”
“Residents fear that Turkey, which has an unclear position on the battle, will not adhere to its promise and prevent the government from advancing, more than conducting the battle,” Hamid added.
Shadi Omar, displaced from Hama and living in Idleb, told North Press that, “we are observing the matters, and do not rule out that Turkey will hand Jabal al-Zawiya over to the Syrian government and Ariha to Russia, as Turkey has already handed areas in Hama and the southern Idleb countryside over to the government and Russia.”
“We do not trust the military groups in Idleb anymore, because they comply with Turkish orders and cannot refuse them,” Shadi added.
He pointed out that, “if the Syrian government conducted a military operation in Jabal al-Zawiya, it would displace Idleb’s people towards the Syrian-Turkish border, and hope that we do not need to do this.”
Ahmad Kamel, a journalist from Idleb, told North Press that, “Idleb residents do not trust Turkish military points that are distributed in Idleb and its countryside.”
“Turkish military points did not prevent the Syrian government forces’ advance in the eastern Idleb countryside, north Hama, and west Aleppo,” adding that “those points did not play an active role; rather, the Syrian government and Russia repeatedly shelled the point and Turkish troops in areas of Hama.”
Kamel said that, “Turkey entered Idleb in order to protect civilians, but it failed. Moreover, it displaced hundreds of thousands of people and allowed the government to take control over many areas.”
Mustafa Bakor, the spokesman for an armed opposition group, previously told North Press that an Idleb battle, especially Jabal al-Zawiya, was coming soon, though Turkey hinted repeatedly that it would not allow the government and Russia to take control over areas south of the M4 Highway.
He added, “If the opposition groups lost the expected upcoming battle, it would mark their end, while if Syrian government lost, it would mark their end, which means an international orientation to impose a political solution according to the Geneva resolution.”
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.