The timing for America’s power show could not have been more wrong, as American airstrikes have disturbed a fragile ‘ceasefire effort’ in the Syrian province of Idlib. Without giving any prior warning to Turkey or Russia, America hit on Al-Qaeda leadership in Idlib province, the jihadist-held region on the pretext of attacking those “responsible for attacks threatening US citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians.”
Russia is clearly criticized and accused America of a hopelessly timed missile strike in the name of eliminating the jihadist leaders there. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the US strike was targeting leaders of Al-Qaeda in Syria had lead to the death of at least 40 jihadists.
The airstrikes earlier run by the Syrian government were being done on the jihadist-run Idlib region. They had been halted recently once the regime agreed to a Moscow-backed cease-fire following four months of deadly bombardment that killed more than 950 civilians. This truce is the second such agreement between Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and jihadists since August 1.
The truce also came once Turkey started to point out to Russia to ease of its offensive on the jihadist, that was leading to mass civilian casualties in the province of Idlib. Russia has been accused of mass civilian casualties where more than 3.5 million Syrians have either been displaced or lost their lives.
Since 2011, Turkey has had to open its flood gates to receive most of the harried Syrians under refugee status. In one particular instance recently, a horde of Syrians barged into the Turkish border towards Idlib province looking for a respite from the airstrikes and offensive, which was being carried out by Russia on the side, and the rebel forces on the other.
Moscow and Ankara had set up a demilitarized zone in the jihadi-dominated province. However, Syrian troops backed by Russian airpower have advanced in recent weeks against jihadi forces in the last major rebel enclave in northwestern Syria and encircled a Turkish military post. This has also left the Turkish forces vulnerable.