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A new accommodation over Syria’s Idlib is probable

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Significance

Last week, a second major rebel counterattack cut the road between Suqaylabiyah and Muhradah, two strongholds of paramilitaries supportive of President Bashar al-Assad. Rebels’ ability to take the initiative six weeks into the campaign dashed loyalist hopes of a swift victory.

Impacts

  • Russia will escalate punitive airstrikes, but this will not dramatically alter the military balance.
  • Turkey will try leveraging logistical support to obtain further pragmatic moves by HTS, including reconciliation with other factions.
  • A respectable outcome would provide HTS with legitimacy to curtail further the activities of more hardline factions.
  • Another Russian-Turkish agreement would reinforce the Moscow-Tehran rivalry.
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