Moscow is satisfied with the activation of Ankara’s “efforts” to implement the Moscow agreement on Idlib and the international route (M4).
Despite the prevarication and the weakness of these efforts, there are indications that Turkey is preparing for the battle to open roads, in cooperation with the Al Sham Liberation Headquarters, in the face of the factions rejecting the agreement.
While managing this issue, Ankara is putting more pressure on the “Free Syrian Army” factions, to push it to send more fighters to Libya.
After the brief meeting, the day before yesterday, in the form of Astana at the level of ministers, the Russian Foreign Ministry affirmed that it “values the efforts made by Turkey in order to expel the militants in Idlib, Syria through the strategic M4”.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed in a statement yesterday that the Russian and Turkish military are taking measures “to ensure the implementation of the additional protocol concluded between the Russian and Turkish parties, on the fifth of last March, to declare a safe passage along the strategic road and conduct joint patrols there”.
Zakharova pointed out that the armed groups in the Idlib region “actively hinder these efforts,” adding: “In this regard, we value Ankara’s efforts to remove the militants from the M4 road area”.
Zakharova expressed Moscow’s hope “to complete the separation between the so-called armed opposition and terrorists, and to neutralize the last two”.
5 joint Russian-Turkish patrols had failed to cut the entire planned route on the international route Aleppo – Latakia, due to threats by armed factions who refused to implement the agreement.
The most prominent of these factions are the so-called “Turkestan Islamic Party” and the “Guardians of Religion” faction.
They are two organizations spread mainly in the southern countryside of Idlib, and they stress their refusal to open the road and conduct patrols, and their willingness to “fight without this”.
Not all of Ankara’s efforts to persuade the two factions to engage in the agreement have succeeded, albeit secretly, similar to that of the Al Sham Liberation Headquarters, which implicitly agreed to implement the agreement.
Rather, there is information that the “Commission” has gone beyond agreeing to implement the agreement to participate in its implementation. Informed Syrian military sources reveal that “the commission has expressed its willingness to fight the factions that reject the agreement, in the event that Ankara decides to do so”!
For the first time, factions of the Free Army accepted to go to Libya
While Ankara is floundering in Idlib and fails to implement its pledges to Moscow, it does not stop using its influence and control over armed factions to exploit it in its battles inside and outside Syria, as in the ongoing battles in Libya, where Ankara is proving its influence by supporting the Fayez Al Sarraj government in Tripoli.
While some factions accepted to participate, others refused, considering themselves concerned only with the Syrian square.
Finally, information was circulated about the further pressure exerted by Turkey on the “Free Syrian Army” factions, to increase its participation in Libya.
On Friday, the armed coordinators published information that the Free Syrian Army factions had accepted, for the first time, to go to Libya to participate in the fighting there.
He said what the coordinators described as the “private source” in the “Ahrar Al Sharqiya” faction, that the factions that were refusing to send their militants are: “Ahrar Al Sharqiya”, and the “Levant Front” affiliated to the “First Legion – Free Syrian Army”.
He added that these “factions were subjected to pressure from the Turkish intelligence and threats to dissolve these factions if they did not agree to send their militants to Libya”.
The source pointed out that the factions of “Al Sharqiya Army” and “Ahrar Al Sharqiya”, which included armed men from the northern-eastern regions, had agreed after the Turkish pressure.
The first batches, which included 150 armed men, were scheduled for the evening of yesterday, from the Qalas military crossing in the northern countryside of Aleppo, towards the Turkish state of Gaziantep, and from there a Turkish military plane to Istanbul airport, and then by a civilian plane, Libyan or Turkish, to airports Libyan Tripoli, according to what the source told the factions.