The United States’ plan for withdrawal from Syria creates danger for U.S. Kurdish allies as well as U.S. dominance in the region. Recently U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militia the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) pushed the remaining proto-military ISIS fighters out of their last remaining stronghold in the village of Baghouz into one square kilometer (Al Jazeera 2019 “US-backed”).
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan to stabilize Syria’s Idlib province against Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham’s (HTS) growing aggression and territorial expansion struggles to be implemented (Russia: Deal 2019; Russia, Turkey 2019). Turkey and Russia planned for a de-escalation zone in Syria’s Idlib, where aggression is prohibited, so Syrian displaced peoples are allowed to return home. However HTS filled the power vacuum in the absence of state aggression. HTS now attempts to penetrate Aleppo from the Idlib province, which threatens the demilitarization deal between Turkey and Russia (Karaspan 2018).
Syrian Islamist terrorist group Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) continues to push its territorial expansion campaign from the Idlib province into Aleppo and the surrounding area controlled by the Turkish-backed National Liberation Front (NLF). Increasing aggression from HTS warns of more conflict not only for civilians and Turkey, but also challenges the Idlibdemilitarization deal between Turkey, Iran, the Syrian government, and Russia.