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Bob From Brockley @bobfrombrockley
, 10 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Couple of tweets re the Putin/Erdogan “demilitarisation” deal on #Idlib:
1. The Syrian regime army is depleted to the point of collapse. Without Russia/Hezbollah support they couldn’t advance against Turkish-backed and properly armed rebels thedailybeast.com/assads-final-o…
2. A lot of hyperbole around about Idlib being controlled by al-Qaeda. This BBC explainer is quite good on the balance of forces there: bbc.co.uk/news/world-454… But need to add that Turkey & HTS are not friends - Turkey wants this deal for leverage against HTS, who it can’t contol
3. Important to remember that the 3 million civilian population of Idlib is highly motivated against the Assad regime, disloyal to HTS & other armed factions, and won’t blindly comply with Turkey’s plans. twitter.com/i/moments/1040…
4. Past Putin/Erdogan deals haven’t worked out well for rebels & civilians. Idlib was supposed to be a “de-escalation zone”, yet the bombs continued.
newsdeeply.com/syria/articles…
5. For Russia, this is all about geopolitics. They want to be friends with Erdogan, and pivot his government away from NATO/EU. A secure base on the Med and a client state in Damascus is Putin’s goal, not complete regime control of Syria.
independent.co.uk/news/world/mid…
6. Assad can’t be seen to back down over Idlib. His territory is now a patchwork of fractious warlords and continuing the war is its only logic. Although a serious ground assault is beyond him, he won’t stop the bombs and chemical weapons.
Conclusion: Be optimistic there will be no imminent ground assault on Idlib; be less optimistic about end of aerial attacks on civilian targets.

For informed Syria commentary and voices from #Idlib follow these accounts: mobile.twitter.com/bobfrombrockle…
Sam Hamad in @The_NewArab on Russia's Idlib deal and the weaponisation of Syrian refugees alaraby.co.uk/english/commen…
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