20:41 GMT27 November 2020
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    Turkey has dispatched troops to Idlib, Syria to reinforce its presence in the province, according to reports. This comes despite Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar's recent warnings against a military solution. Akar said at a Wednesday meeting with foreign ambassadors that a military operation would drag the region toward a humanitarian disaster.

    Sputnik discussed the upcoming offensive in Idlib with Dr. Kamel Wazne, an economist and founder of the Center of American Strategic Studies in Beirut.

    Sputnik: What are your thoughts on the upcoming offensive in Idlib? How likely is it to put an end to the long-standing conflict in Syria?

    Dr. Kamel Wazne: The Syrian people need to put an end to the war that is taking place by these terrorist entities. My understanding [is that] this will be one of the last battles that the Syrian army will take to bring some stability to Syria and this will help bring security throughout the region and throughout the world.

    We all know there’s a terrorist organization that exists in Idlib in a large scale that's been identified by the international community and it actually does exists on the list of the European, of the American and for that reason I think that Syria should have the right in its own country to have the last decision in bringing security and order to the country.

    Sputnik: How close do you think we are to seeing the end of the Syrian war and what stands in the way? As you mentioned, there is a majority of terrorists or rebel forces in Idlib province. How does one go about eradicating those forces without huge civilian casualties?

    Dr. Kamel Wazne: This will be a very delicate operation because you have to be concerned about the people, you have to be concerned about the civilians, but in the end leaving those civilians and those innocent people under these terrorist entities, it is also something that the international community has to think about.

    The way they’ve been conducting themselves, by causing a lot of harm to the civilians, an operation by the Syrian army and the allies of Syria will help put an end to the suffering of the Syrians that reside under these terrorist entities. This is not going to be an easy operation, because these terrorists have nowhere to go but to fight to the end or they have to surrender, or maybe other countries that brought them to Syria have to take them back.

    But my understanding is [that] this is going to be a very difficult operation and probably caution will be taken to make sure that the civilians will be protected, at least to be minimizing the casualties on the part of civilians.

    Sputnik: Do you think some kind of a diplomatic solution can be completely ruled out? A ceasefire, some talks, some kind of surrender, something other than the military resolution to the situation?

    Dr. Kamel Wazne: Of course diplomatic means is always a good option, but not when you’re dealing with terrorists. Here are terrorists that are determined to cause havoc, to cause destruction and to inflict pain on the people of Idlib.

    The fact that these are identified, they've been designated by the international community as terrorist entities, I think there’s two parts of the confrontation: there're those who are terrorist organizations that will probably be dealt with [using] force and there could be some other fighters that the Syrians have in the past dealt with diplomatically.

    Sputnik: There’s another thing that is coming out of this and that is the anti-Russian sanctions that are imposed by the US to counter Russia’s influence or actions in Syria. Can you comment on the impact of those?

    Dr. Kamel Wazne: I think the whole issue of sanctions that the United States has been using as a policy has destabilized the international financial market and actually is leading towards a new financial order.

    The way America is using these financial sanctions is not helping itself and it’s not helping the order of the economic system in the world. It seems that those sanctions are preparing for a new economic system away from the one that was put by the United States after World War II at Bretton Woods.

    I think a lot of countries are probably going to start walking away from the dollar and will start using their currencies for trade and I think maybe the world may be looking for a new financial transaction system other than the Swift system, where people can be financially connected with each other without having the bulliness of the United States.

    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Dr. Kamel Wazne and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    terrorists, sufferings, civilians, operation, military, offensive, Dr. Kamel Wazne, Idlib, Syria
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