Idlib: Turkey is the only guarantor of peace

Space for peace: a future for Syrian children

İbrahim Kalın calls on the world to do more than talk and buy their consciences by setting red lines on the use of chemical weapons. Last time the red line was crossed the Pentagon cleared the military response with Russia, which directed them onto a series of empty warehouses. Kalın writes: Idlib is a de-escalation zone under the Astana agreement. As the three guarantor countries, Turkey, Russia and Iran have established military posts in the province. Turkey has 12 of them. The presence of Turkish soldiers there is probably the only guarantee to prevent any major assault because the Russian jet fighters and the regime ground forces cannot afford attacks while Turkish soldiers are there; we know that they do not care about civilians and legitimate, moderate opposition forces. Any attack on Idlib in the name of eliminating terrorist groups would undermine the Astana process.

Turkey has done its utmost and will continue its tireless efforts to prevent another humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. International support must go beyond statements of concern or “anger,” as U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted. It must be translated into concrete action for both a political solution and a plan for the refugees. Idlib is a ticking bomb. We can turn it off and start a new process in Syria if the international community gets serious about the Syrian war and shows that they do care about the Syrian people.