It is the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century, according to the UN. No, it’s not coronavirus. It is the war being fought in Syria around Idlib, a martyred city in the northwest, one of the last unfinished strongholds under the control of the Damascus regime. The rationality behind the conflict is chilling. For months, Russian aircraft have been helping the advance of Bashar el Assad rais forces in the region. The Moscow pilots together with the Syrian ones mercilessly bomb civilian targets such as markets, hospitals, refugee camps and roads because the chosen strategy is to depopulate the region – they are called war crimes, according to international law – and push millions of people to crush more and more north against the Turkish border.
Turkey, allied with the Islamists and Syrian rebels, would like a security belt close to the border to be spared from the advance, so that it is possible to somehow move the Syrian refugees now welcomed into the former Ottoman empire. But for now Russia doesn’t hear us. And Europe, now absent, will pay the consequences.