IDLIB, Syria (North Press) – Residents of Idlib, northwestern Syria, expressed their fears of Russian intentions to take over Bab Hawa border crossing and pressure Turkey to accept it, and they rejected any Russian-Turkish agreement.
Field activist Omar Halabi told North Press that “Russia wants to come close to Bab Hawa border crossing, especially because the Syrian government is about 20km away from the crossing and Damascus-Latakia M5 highway.”
He added that “perhaps there is a Russian scheme that Turkey has been informed about to connect the crossing to the highway via the Tarabat-Bab line.”
Halabi told North Press that he warned that the fall of Bab Hawa crossing into Russian hands will lead to the fall of Sarmada and Dana, which are home to the biggest popular base of civilians in Idlib, potentially creating a massive famine.
Bab Hawa scenario
Economist Osama Qadi warned North Press of the scenario awaiting Bab Hawa crossing, saying “Bab Hawa crossing is the closest crossing to the Damascus- Latakia (M5) highway.”
The notable question, according to Qadi, is why did Russia exclude it in the National Council? The answer is, for Russia and the Syrian government take control of the Atareb - Bab Hawa line, so that the road is clear to the M5, and it seems that the project is approved by everyone."
He pointed out to that "the group that controls the crossing is Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, formerly al-Nusra Front) which is internationally unacceptable, and even Turkey classifies it as an Israeli front, so Russia will have the justification to take over the crossing."
He emphasized that "there are political and military justifications, and unfortunately the next scenario may be that the Russians and Syrian government take over this crossing very soon."
Earlier, the UN Security Council adopted the resolution submitted by Belgium and Germany, which calls for extending the authorization of international cross-border aid to Syria from one crossing on the Turkish border, which is Bab Hawa crossing, for one year only.
Bab Hawa crossing is one of the main crossings with Turkey, which links it with Jarablus and Bab Salama, but Turkey gives great importance to this crossing. Because of this, handing it to Russia will increase tension between Turkey and the population loyal to it throughout northwestern Syria.