Violence and forced displacement, as part of evacuation deals, in parts of Syria have brought many together, seeking refuge in Syria’s Idlib province. As a result, Idlib’s population has reached up to three million, including 1.3 million internally displaced, many of whom are living in camps and relying on cross-border aid from Turkey.
Efforts were made to capture the Idlib province, knowing the fact that the civilians were moving in to save their lives. The region was taken over by rebel militias in 2011, who have been controlling it since then.
In 2017, Turkey closed its borders with Idlib following the capture of the province by the armed opposition group Hay’at Tahrir al- Sham, staking lives of millions of civilians.
In the wake of growing cases of the Russian-backed Syrian government’s humanitarian attacks in Idlib province, the US President recently urged Russian, Syrian and Iranian authorities to put an end to the practice of civilian killings in the region. Trump even said that Turkey is “working hard” to stop “carnage” in the region.
Since February, Russian authorities have hit most of Idlib’s densely-populated areas such as, medical, health facilities and schools, leading to huge devastation. In addition to that, several of the humanitarian organizations, amid the fears of being crushed to the ground, suspended their operations.
The US has strongly condemned Russian and Iranian airstrikes in the Idlib province, due to which many in northwest Syria have fled their homes, heading towards the Turkish border.
Observing the increased number of migrants arriving from Syria’s Idlib province, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has clearly warned that “Turkey will not carry such a migrant burden on its own”, indirectly calling to end the Idlib violence.
A recent data has suggested that over 200,000 civilians have fled their homes in the process while more than 250 people have been killed in air and ground strikes. The displacement of civilians would definitely put a strain on critical humanitarian situation in the cold weather, adding to the vulnerability of the needy.
Despite being protected by a ceasefire announced by Moscow in August, Idlib province has become a major rebel-held area in the region, with fate of millions of civilians at risk. The persisting bombardments have only heightened jihadist fight in the Middle-Eastern region, which if not halted would fuel in more movements, creating a state of complete disorder and chaos.
Days after President Trump’s plea, State Secretary Mike Pompeo attacked Iran for supporting Kata’ib Hezbollah militia group held responsible for a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base, located near Syrian border.
As the group has played an active role in the Syrian Civil war by sending fighters to fight against the Sunni rebels opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Idlib province, Pentagon even targeted two of its locations used in Syria, eradicating its plan of attacks on coalition forces.
The rocket attack on December 27,killed an American civilian contractor and wounded several US military service members.
The retaliatory attack by the US shows that it is on an active mode, giving a befitting response to abate all sorts of violence in the Middle East. Besides the warning, the country knows how to deal with groups disrupting the Middle-Eastern peace. But will the attack really work in US’ favor, days after it had called for ending violence in Idlib province?