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Turkey’s risky route in Idlib

Turkey is struggling to maintain a balance with Russia as it takes action to block the Syrian army at Idlib.
A column of armoured Turkish military vehicles drives on a patrol along a road in the de-militarised zone in Syria's northern Idlib province near the town Saraqib on March 8, 2019. - In September 2018, Syrian rebel backer Turkey and regime ally Russia inked a deal to set up a buffer zone in northern Syria. Russia halted an imminent regime offensive many feared could lead to the Syrian conflict's worst bloodbath yet, in exchange for which Turkey was to remove jihadists from the edges of the region. (Photo by

As the Syrian regime's offensive against Idlib continues, Turkey has to pull off two contradictory missions in Syria’s last rebel stronghold: Save Tell Rifaat and Idlib at the same time.

Russia and the Syrian regime launched air and ground operations against rebels in Idlib on April 28. While Turkey tries to prevent the operation from becoming an all-out war, it has been baffled by three major developments.

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