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Turkey intervenes - again?

MENAroundupMENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the Mid
October 11 · Issue #59 · View online
MENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the Middle East, focussing on Syria and Iraq.

  • Turkish assurances (and tanks) for rebels in northwestern Syria have put Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in a difficult position: The jihadists cannot mess with Turkey’s superior military power, but al-Julani’s approach to negotiate has resulted in opposition from hardliners within the group. As already mentioned last week, HTS faces both the serious threat of defections and other rebel factions that appear to be hostile towards HTS more than ever (read more below).
  • In the context of the ongoing Turkish-supported rebel unity project in northwestern Syria, rebels handed control of the Bab al-Salameh crossing to the opposition’s Interim Government. Despite the cashflow, the cooperation between the political umbrella organization and armed factions could be pioneering for the area. 
  • While all eyes were on the border area with Turkey, ISIS reportedly attacked HTS in eastern Hama. However, there hasn’t been a frontline with ISIS in the first place. The jihadist’s nearest positions are about 30 km far and surrounded by pro-regime troops. That strange situation led to accusations that the regime gave ISIS units safe conduct.
  • Ignoring Jordanian demands, rebels in southern Syria have refused to hand control of the Nasib border crossing back to the regime. The situation illustrates how the rebels who lost significant foreign support now have to deal with the Jordanian government that has accepted Assad’s stay in power.
  • Last week’s ISIS offensive in Deir ez-Zor and eastern Homs has stalled but pro-regime troops haven’t been able to retake all of the captured territory. Yet, they launched an assault on the jihadist’s stronghold of Mayadin. 
  • Meanwhile, the YPG declared that only 15% of Raqqa remain under the Islamic State’s control. This foreseeable ‘victory’ comes with a high cost: Large parts of Raqqa are reduced to rubble and countless civilians have been killed or injured. This short clip gives an impression.
Articles worth reading
Turkey’s Operation in Idlib May Not Bring All-Out War With
Why the West Should Not Fund Syria's Reconstruction
ISIS Fighters, Having Pledged to Fight or Die, Surrender en Masse
Russia Muscles in on De-escalation Zones
- Rebels in southern Syria have refused 
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