Russia vs. Turkey Square-Off Over Idlib
A man stands next to the bodies of victims killed earlier in the day following a reported attack by airstrike on the Sakhour eastern neighborhood, in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on February 5, 2016. (Photo credit should read THAER MOHAMMED/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia vs. Turkey Square-Off Over Idlib

Those who assert an end to the Syrian civil war are overlooking the area of Idlib, in northwestern Syria, where the final bastion of rebel-held territory. At risk are some 3 million residents of the area who stand to be pulled into what is being called an “unprecedented humanitarian crisis.” Syria, Russia and Iran are pressuring Turkey to control the remaining rebels in Idlib while Ankara counters with a demand that the Russians control Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad’s troops and protect them. Russian and Syrian air forces have been providing air cover to the Assad-loyal Syrian army as it advances south-to-north. In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the idea of a military onslaught believing it to be too dangerous, humanitarian crisis-wise. But since that time Putin is known to have grown wary of events, calling Idlib a “breeding ground for terrorists.”

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