Turkish President Recep Erdogan next to Russian President Putin addressing audience after their agreement setting up demilitarized zone around Idlib Province, Syria
What Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan have done setting a 20 kilometer (12.4 mile) demilitarized zone completely around Idlib Province, Syria was a stroke of genius.
Here are the reasons why:
1. With Turkey being a member of NATO and its troops along with the Russian military in charge of patrolling and enforcing the peace in that zone it essentially blunts the US and its NATO allies from launching an attack in that zone. There's no way any NATO country is going to attack the forces of another NATO country.
2. The US and its allies have made it known they're ready to launch a missile strike if the Syrian Arab Army attacks Idlib Province. But if the SAA doesn't lay siege on Idlib there's no basis for the US to launch a retaliatory strike.
3. As for any chemical attack occurring in Idlib. If Syrian President Bashar Assad's military are not conducting military operations in Idlib how can he be blamed for initiating a chemical attack? There's no basis for the US and NATO to launch any retaliatory attack.
4. All aerial strikes conducted by the Russian and Syrian air forces against al Qaeda militants in Idlib-which was assumed to be the prelude for a ground attack by the SAA-have ceased over the last two weeks. So all military action against the al Qaeda alphabet soup militants in Idlib have ceased.
5. Though some al Qaeda militants have said they won't acknowledge the demilitarized zone, disarm and give up its tanks and heavily armored vehicles, they'll be no match against the Turks and Russian's patrolling the demilitarized zone which would surely crush any aggression by the militants. Again there's no way the US and NATO allies are going to attack their Turkish NATO ally in the zone particularly if Turkish patrols are attacked and they have to respond militarily.
6. When Putin and Erdogan were discussing the idea of the demilitarized zone they must have had satellite images of the locations where weaponry of the militants was located which must have been why they came up with the 12.4 mile/25 kilometer perimeter around Idlib Province.
7. Once the al Qaeda militancy is degraded within the demilitarized zone of Idlib Province there's no way Turkey will allow these militants to be resupplied through the Turkish border into Idlib.
8. Innocent people of Idlib Province will be able to freely traverse the zone and enter other Syrian provinces. So any idea of a "humanitarian crisis" affecting these people precipitated by an assumed attack by the SAA on Idlib-which was loudly forecast by the US MSM and their complicit pundits-isn't going happen.
As we know Russia has blamed the Israeli's for precipitating the recent downing of a Russian military reconnaissance plane by a Syrian government missile inadvertently mistaking it for an Israeli jet fighter operating in the same area off the Syrian coast.
In response Putin had to act decisively. Within two weeks he will deliver the Russian S-300 air defense system to the Syrian government. This system was originally purchased by the Assad government in 2013 but never delivered because of an Israeli request. But obviously with this latest incident caused by the Israeli's Putin recognized he must upgrade the Syrian air defenses. This S-300 system with a range of 250 kilometers/155 miles, will according to the Russian defense ministry provide counter measures against a fighter attack that include "suppressing satellite navigation, onboard radar systems and communications of warplanes attacking targets on Syrian territory".
What this does is Israel will be prevented from sending its war planes into Syria knowing they'll be repulsed by the S-300 air defense system.
The S-300 system also puts on notice US and NATO allies contemplating any future missile attacks on Syria. US ships will be vulnerable to a retaliatory strike if they or their NATO allies send missiles attacking Syrian government installations or their Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah allies.