Russia, Turkey and Iran may launch joint Euphrates Shield

Russia, Turkey and Iran may launch joint Euphrates Shield

Turkey, Russia and Iran may start a joint stage of the Euphrates Shield military operation in Syria against terrorist groups, the Turkish newspaper Sabah reported.

Reportedly, the joint military operation may begin in the Syrian city of Idlib. It is expected that Russia and Iran will begin operations in the southern part of Idlib, and Turkey will advance from the northern direction.

At a recent meeting of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces and  National Intelligence Organization, the draft road map for the operation was already considered, and it was decided to start it "after the talks in Astana on September 13-15." Ankara expects that part of the province of Idlib will be transferred under the control of Turkey within the framework of the agreements on de-escalation zones. The main goal of the second stage of the Euphrates Shield operation is "a violation of US plans to give Idlib to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) "under the guise of combating the terrorist groups in Syria," TASS reported.

The deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association, Andrey Baklanov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, said that now the priority of the Syrian settlement is the preparation of the meeting in Astana and consultations related to the maintenance of de-escalation zones, including in Idlib. "Regarding the situation in the north of the country, we should proceed from the assumption that the civil war in Syria has entered its final phase, as a whole. And we would not like that this ritual completion of the civil war be accompanied by the formation of new regional conflicts along the perimeter of Syrian borders," he noted.

"The most serious situation is being formed in the north of the country, where the current conflict. As well as the contradictions linked to the unsettled Kurdish problem become evident. In this regard, I think now it is necessary to work more thoroughly on the forthcoming negotiations in Astana and Geneva," Andrey Baklanov emphasized.

"It is necessary to reconcile the intentions of the parties to avoid a new element of regional and international instability and clashes in northern Syria. Significant efforts should be concentrated to prevent such a dangerous development of the situation in the north of the country. If they try to promote any solution of the problem through a military operation, it will only exacerbate the state of affairs," the deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association warned.

During the first phase of the Euphrates Shield Operation (late August 2016 - March 2017) the safe zone between the cities of Azaz and Jarablus was returned to opposition forces.

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