Skip to main content

Ankara's offer to Moscow: Give us Afrin for Idlib

As the situation in northern Syria heats up, the future of Idlib and Afrin depend on strategic bargaining between Ankara and Moscow.
Men ride a motorbike past a hazard sign at a site hit by an airstrike on Tuesday in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rebel-held Idlib, Syria April 5, 2017. The hazard sign reads, "Danger, unexploded ammunition". REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah - RTX3475J
Read in 

Tension is escalating rapidly west of the Euphrates River, especially in the area of Syria's Afrin canton controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), and at Idlib, controlled by a motley collection of outfits mostly backed by Turkey.

Last week, as the Turkish army continued to amass forces in the triangle of Kilis in Turkey, and Jarablus/al-Bab/al-Rai in Syria, Turkish 155 howitzers began shelling YPG targets southwest of Azaz and north of Tel Rifaat. The YPG returned fire with its 81 mm mortars at Free Syrian Army (FSA) targets in the triangle. Local sources told Al-Monitor there have been occasional clashes between the YPG and the FSA east of Tel Rifaat over the past two weeks.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.