Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
An informative maze of references, Oui. I was  engrossed by the links several nights.

Russia, Turkey agree to create demilitarized zone around Syria's Idlib

The agreement marks a major diplomatic victory for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was eager to prevent a major Syrian government assault, backed by Russian air power
As part of the Russia-Turkey agreement:
  • Radical rebel groups, such as al-Qaeda linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) will be ordered to leave the zone
  • The Syrian government will gain access to a key highway passing through Idlib that connects the north of the country with other major cities
  • Both Turkish and Russian troops will patrol the demilitarized zone

Predicted by Southfront.org analysis of multi-lateral positioning (so-called delay) and plausible path to a fugue state of hostilities ("end-game"). Persauding Syria to concede what the Turks cannot control (US-NATO funded ISIS fraternizing with HTS) and, ultimately, appeasing the Kurds (Raqqa! An obscene episode easily discarded), whose militias are all more devoted to autonomous settlement than either deposing Assad or US-NATO allegiance (since Iraq!). In an aside, Southfront confirmed the "open secret," Kurds would not be participating in any operations. Just maybe that was under US direction. In any case, Russian mediation paid off.

What threw me off was, even though MoA pulled out Southpoint bullet points, this front page message:

The [SYRIA-allied] operation has to wait until the Congressional elections in the U.S. are over and the danger of a U.S. escalation for domestic policy reasons recedes. Russia also fears that an attack on Idleb right now could re-unite the U.S. and Turkey and lead to a new coordinated onslaught on Syria.
as if endorsing US military and financial redundancy. The "Final Battle" was a sham to all but Anglosphere from inception? The mid-term election result is utterly irrelevant to the maneuvers in Syria. Congress has already pulled all their tricks to intimidate Russia and Turkey!They even reset their R2P2 Chemical Warfare deadline to 4 Nov. What's left to "fear"? Erdogan will be salvaging Idlib's ruins, Syria-allied is cleared to sweep Q4.

Until spring perhaps. ugh.

(MoQ link: Turkish Strategy In Northern Syria: Military Operations, Turkish-backed Groups And Idlib Issue)

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 08:30:30 AM EST
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Excellent addition to interpretation on what's going on!

My take on the delay until after the midterm election ...

If the Russian and Syrian forces would be bombing Idlib, there will be a chance for a release of a chemical substance by whatever party on the ground putting blame on Assad. What's not needed in these weeks a retaliatory reaction by Western allies to bomb Syrian facilities creating a nationalist feeling in the US thereby backing the sitting president and the Republican party. A reverse of wagging the dog in past war scenarios.

by Oui on Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 09:23:21 AM EST
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by Oui on Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 09:28:05 AM EST
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Magnier impressed me too.

I scanned Southfront for insight into the tri-partite zone agreement. TU-RU ministers attending demurely confirmed "political, military and economic issues". Erdogan of course "opposes any kind of military operation" in Idlib, but then it occurred to me.

HTS is rather defenseless once they leave Idlib.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 09:54:31 AM EST
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Israelis have been left out of the loop by the Americans in the war effort in Syria. The diplomatic effort is now in the hands of three major players Turkey, Russia and Iran.

Here what happened in the last 24 hours above Latakia ...

My new diary ...

Fucking Israelis Stirring Up Big Trouble

by Oui on Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 09:46:59 AM EST
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Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Sep 18th, 2018 at 09:55:12 AM EST
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