The Syrian regime, backed by Russia, has escalated its attacks on Idlib province, increasing the prospect of another refugee crisis.
Turkey, one of the guarantors of de-escalation zones in the province, along with Russia and Iran, has indicated that it will not shoulder yet another refugee inflow as the country has been hosting at least 3.5 million Syrians ever since the country’s civil war broke out in 2011.
Ankara increased its lobbying efforts to negotiate for a safe zone in northern Syria where it could address its border security concerns emanating from the YPG presence and also resettle the growing refugee population.
“The sole resolution of Syria-origin migration problem can not be seen to keep refugees in our borders. I am frankly and clearly saying that in the case of a new migration wave, we will no longer able to shoulder it by ourselves,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday.
In the wake of the announcement of an American withdrawal from Syria, Turkey and the US have been negotiating on the terms of forming safe zones in the region to prevent the emergence of any political vacuum, which could be exploited by armed groups like Daesh and the YPG, the Syrian wing of the PKK.