Russia and Syria Initiate the Battle to Liberate Idlib Province

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Russia and Syria Initiate the Battle to Liberate Idlib Province 

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

It’s long overdue, the only part of Syria infested with many thousands of US armed, trained, funded and directed terrorists — along with Pentagon controlled northern and southern parts of the country, jihadists trained on and given safe haven at its bases.

Syria’s sovereign independence  depends on liberating these areas from the scourge of their control.

Nearly eight months ago in September 2018, Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan agreed on establishing a 15 – 20 km-wide demilitarized zone in Idlib province along the Turkish border.

Plans were for forces from both countries to control it, an offensive to liberate Idlib put on hold, at the time believed to be short-term, perhaps to begin after last year’s US November midterm elections.

The plan involved achieving the unattainable – getting heavily armed, US-supported jihadists to voluntarily leave the demilitarized zone they occupy, along with removing all heavy weapons from the area.

Things didn’t turn out as planned. Erdogan deceived Putin, supporting Idlib’s terrorist scourge he pretends to oppose.

Thousands of al-Nusra and other terrorists took advantage of the deal to reinforce their ranks. Weapons supplied by the US, other Western states, Israel, Ankara and Riyadh freely flow cross-border from Turkey into Idlib.

Terrorists in the province hold its civilian population hostage as human shields, using their entrenched positions as platforms for attacking Syrian military forces, civilians, and Russia’s Khmeimim airbase.

Because of doing nothing to combat them, especially since last September’s Putin/Erdogan agreement, they’re a more formidable force now, a longer tougher struggle required to defeat them.

Turkey is part of the problem, not the solution to Syria’s liberation — Erdogan wanting the country’s northern territory annexed, especially its oil-producing area.

It’s why he’s involved in Syria militarily, along with his longstanding war on Kurds domestically as well as cross-border in Syria and Iraq, wanting their aim for self-determination defeated.

The long-delayed battle to liberate Idlib and surrounding areas finally began. On Saturday, Putin said “Russia reserves the right to give active assistance to the Syrian government in liquidating (the) terrorist threat” in Idlib and elsewhere in the country.

On Monday, Syrian and Russian forces began heavily attacking US-supported terrorist in Idlib and northwestern Hama province.

On Tuesday, AMN News reported that Russian warplanes “launch(ed) (a) massive assault across western Idlib” — targeting US-supported terrorists.

Targets in southern Idlib, western Aleppo, and northern Hama province were targeted.

“The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) kicked off their long-awaited offensive in northwestern Hama on Monday morning, scoring several important gains against the militant forces near the towns of Kafr Naboudeh and Qal’at Al-Madiq,” AMN News reported.

The strategic Tal Uthman high ground was captured, supply lines from Turkey and northern US bases to al-Nusra and other terrorists in “the towns of Kafr Naboudeh and Qal’at Al-Madiq” cut off.

Last week ahead of the Syrian ground offensive, Russian warplanes struck multiple terrorist targets in Idlib, including around Idlib city and areas around the provincial capital.

At the same time, Syrian warplanes pounded terrorist targets in eastern parts of the country.

A Monday attack by US-supported jihadists on Russia’s Khmeimim airbase was foiled, Western-supplied drones shot down.

On the same day, Russian warplanes and Syrian ground forces heavily struck al-Nusra positions in northeast Latakia.

Last weekend, SouthFront reported over 200 Russian and Syrian airstrikes on terrorist targets, attacks continuing Monday and Tuesday.

What’s ongoing appears prelude for a likely escalated offensive to liberate Idlib and its civilian population.

The Trump regime earlier warned it would retaliate against Syrian attacks on Idlib. Since the current offensive began, threats haven’t been repeated so far.

Defeating al-Nusra and other jihadists infesting Idlib and surrounding areas, along with remaining ISIS terrorists in country, will likely take months.

Things are in the early stage of an extended campaign that won’t end any time soon once fully underway.

It’s unclear how or whether Trump regime hardliners will intervene against the campaign. 

Perhaps they have another CW false flag in mind to be wrongfully blamed on Damascus — a pretext to terror-bomb Syrian sites.

The US didn’t wage war on Syria to quit. Its liberating struggle remains longterm.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.