Ankara has contributed to the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Idlib
In recent days, disturbing news has been coming from Idlib province. An outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection was recorded in territories controlled by pro-Turkish militants. Moreover, the members of illegal armed groups themselves were to blame for its dissemination.
The first data began to come from a hospital in the village of Atma, where militants of the Syrian National Army (SNA) were recovering. In late March, immediately for four bandits the test for COVID-19 showed a positive result. And here Turkey made the biggest miscalculation in its Idlib adventure — instead of isolating the militants right in the hospital with seven castles, the Turkish military dragged the infected through the entire province to the city of Maaret Misrin.
The result of this step is slightly predictable — COVID-19 began to spread rapidly in Idlib. In open sources, nothing is said about the situation in Idlib — but here residents of Maaret-Misrin came to the rescue, who told on social networks how things really are among the militants.
According to sources in the province of Idlib, within a few days after the removal of those infected from Atma to Maaret Misrin, cases of COVID-19 infection were recorded in settlements under the control of pro-Turkish armed forces.
The appearance of an “unknown respiratory infection” was noticed in the cities of An-Nairab, Taftanaz and Sarmin. According to incoming information, every day there are more and more infected people — primarily among the militants of the pro-Turkish “Syrian National Army”.
The spread of infection among the militants in Idlib caused concern not only to the Turkish military command, which oversees their activities in Syria, but also to the political leadership of Turkey. Due to the imminent threat of the spread of infection in the areas bordering the Syrian Arab Republic, Ankara has taken a number of tough, but necessary for the security of its country.
The Turkish military held an emergency meeting with militant leaders at which Ankara’s decisions were announced. The most important of them were:
complete closure of the Syrian-Turkish border in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, as well as in the area of operation “Source of Peace”;
stop the evacuation of wounded and sick fighters to Turkey, where they have been undergoing treatment and rehabilitation for the past years;
termination of the rotation of gang members from Turkey to Idlib and vice versa;
reduction of all types of supplies for SNA members entering the territories controlled by militants from Turkish provinces.
The reaction of the leaders of the Syrian National Army present at the meeting is still unknown, but it is unlikely to be positive. Especially considering that the SNA, from Turkish filing, essentially launched a new war with Khayyat Tahrir al-Sham for control over the territories of Idlib province. But the militants simply have no other choice.
Against the backdrop of such a large betrayal of Turkey, some events that took place a few days ago become clear. On April 15, Step News reported that a convoy of wounded and killed members of the Syrian National Army arrived in Turkey through the Hawar-Kilis border crossing in the north of Aleppo, who were recruited by Turkey to participate in hostilities in Libya on the side of the Government of National Accord (PNS). ) According to the source, all in all, about 125 militants, both dead and wounded, were taken from Syria to Syria.
Given the information about the stop of the evacuation of wounded fighters to Turkey, it can be assumed that the “cannon fodder” of Ankara, taken out from Tripoli, was left to die in Syria. A logical, but still an intermediate result of the whole adventure of Erdogan in Libya.
Despite the fact that “at the official level” the coronavirus in Idlib has not yet been recognized, Turkey makes it clear that it is worried about the situation in Idlib.
Thus, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking at a joint online conference of the Atlantic Council and the Turkish Heritage Fund, said that coronavirus could further aggravate the situation in Idlib, and the international community, before it is too late, should pay attention to Syria and Idlib due to the spread of infection.
And the deputy head of the Turkish Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Aid (İHH) Erkhan Yemelek said that in the camps in Azaz and Afrin in northern Syria there are not enough medical centers, remedies and medical personnel, which poses a threat to 1 million people living in the region.
But this is all “to the public” — but in reality things are much worse.
On the one hand, one can understand the actions of Ankara, there is a danger of the spread of COVID-19 from Idlib to the southern regions of Turkey. On the other hand, Turkey, in fact, left to its mercy the gangs of the Syrian National Army controlled by it and deprived its wards of much-needed support for them, as well as the opportunity to “lick” their wounds on Turkish soil.