The fighting in Syria is threatening to draw the forces of Turkey, Syria, and Russia into open conflict, making an already volatile situation even worse.
Syrian troops, backed by Russian fighter jets, have recaptured the al-Nairab village in Idlib province from Syrian opposition rebels as the fighting in northwestern Syria teeters back and forth. Meanwhile, Turkish tanks and armored vehicles are pouring into Syria as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear that he’ll do anything to stop the Syrian military from retaking the last rebel stronghold in Idlib.
Turkey wants a say in the post-Civil war Syria, especially since millions of refugees have already poured across the Syrian-Turkish border. Idlib province is home to nearly three million more Syrians, including the rebel forces that Turkey has supported since the civil war began in 2011.
With about four million refugees already inside Turkey, Ankara is worried that an additional one-two million more will pour across the border with nowhere else to go if the Syrians continue their offensive in Idlib. About 700,000 people have already been displaced because of the fighting in Idlib, just since December. That is the most people displaced in that short a time period since the war began nine years ago.