The Battle for Idlib: De-escalation Failure in Syria
Author: Quinta Allaya Emirsyah
Recently in February 24th 2020, the ongoing crisis in Syria’s Idlib province escalated further into a series of ever-growing record of humanitarian destruction and geopolitical atrocity. The previous ceasefire agreement made in 2017 was disregarded as the renewed Syrian government, backed by its Russian and Iranian proxies, launched offensives into this north-western region in which the Turkish-backed rebel groups occupies. The Turkish forces, widely known for showing their support to the Syrian rebels, became victims of this offensive as 33 of their soldiers were killed in an airstrike. This also affected innocent civilians as they became displaced and traumatized, forced to sleep outside in freezing temperatures to avoid the conflict at hand.
This writer thinks that both the Syrian Government and its oppositions, including all of their backing forces, must step back from the Idlib province in order to conduct de-escalation means. They must once again adhere to the 2017 ceasefire agreement and push for a negotiation process as a way to resolve this crisis. Russia and Turkey as the biggest backing of the conflicting parties must build upon their previous agreements to secure a new ceasefire groundwork for northwest Syria. Other than that, this writer also believes that the international community should specifically focus on the Syrian civilians fleeing Idlib as it could potentially cause a refugee crisis in Europe and Asia.
To conclude, the devastating situation in Idlib shows that the current state of global diplomacy in the Middle East region is facing a decline. Therefore, all conflicting parties, supported by the international community, must find the most peaceful way to at least de-escalate this conflict in order to not cause casualties of harmless civilians.