Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Pro-regime Forces in Idlib Posture for Resumption of Offensive

By Isabel Ivanescu and John Dunford

Key Takeaway: The ceasefire in Greater Idlib remains tenuous. Recent force disposition indicates that the Syrian Regime is preparing for a renewed offensive in Southern Idlib Province should the ceasefire break down, but both the timing and likelihood of the offensive’s success remain uncertain and conditions dependent. A renewed regime offensive will require Russian support to sustainably seize territory from anti-Assad forces. However, Russian support will likely be contingent on a new negotiated agreement between Russia and Turkey, and the COVID-19 pandemic will likely delay such negotiations. The Syrian regime may attempt an offensive without Russian support despite the likelihood that it will be unsuccessful. Any regime offensive, whether Russian-backed or unilateral, will exacerbate the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Greater Idlib.

This map provides an assessment of SAA and other pro-regime unit positions since the start of the ceasefire on March 5 to May 20 based on publicly-accessible information. Click on the map to expand it. Click here to read the full report.