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Idlib: Turkey ‘neutralises’ 309 Syrian regime soldiers as battle intensifies

Turkey has reacted strongly against brutal dictator Bashar al-Assad’s forces following the martyrdom of 33 Turkish soldiers in Idlib last night, ‘neutralising’ 309 soldiers and hitting over 200 regime targets this morning.[1]

Whilst the official line is that the Turkish soldiers were martyred by Syrian regime air strikes, many on the ground are claiming it was in fact the Russians,[2] who together with Iran have helped the Syrian regime recover from the brink of defeat and continue to cause the deaths, suffering, and starvation of millions of Syrians.

The air strike occurred shortly after the city of Saraqib was liberated by Turkish-backed forces.[3] The city is a key strategic town on the M5 motorway that connects all of Syria’s major towns together and which is a high priority for the Assad regime.[4]

Little international support has been forthcoming for Turkey’s action in Idlib, which started after the 2018 ceasefire lines were broken and Turkish observation posts came under attack, resulting in the deaths of at least 54 Turkish soldiers since the start of February.[5] Reacting to the events on the ground, ambassadors from the NATO alliance held emergency talks this morning, with Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg commenting:

“This dangerous situation must be de-escalated to avoid further worsening of the horrendous humanitarian situation in the region and to allow urgent humanitarian access for those trapped in Idlib. We urge an immediate return to the 2018 cease-fire.

“Today’s meeting is a sign of solidarity with Turkey, which has suffered the most terrorist attacks and which hosts millions of refugees.”[6]

Assad’s assault on Idlib is causing thousands more to flee towards the Turkish border. With an excess of 3.7 million refugees already in Turkey, however, unnamed officials today said they are lifting border controls to the EU as they can “no longer keep the doors closed for refugees who want to go to Europe.”[7] The presidential communications director Fahrettin Altun tweeted:

Hundreds were seen heading towards the border with Greece.[8] Reports have stated that the Syrian community in Istanbul had began arranging buses to transport refugees to the borders.[9] Greece has reacted by boosting police presence on the border.[10]

Many in the international community have called for calm. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric released a statement warning that “without urgent action, the risk of even greater escalation grows by the hour.”[11] A US department spokesman said that the US stands by its ally Turkey but called for “for an immediate end to this despicable offensive by the Assad regime, Russia and Iranian-backed forces.”[12]

The Directorate of Communications released a statement on the Turkish offensive against Syrian regime forces. It said Turkish forces have neutralized at least 1,709 Assad regime soldiers, as well as 55 tanks, three helicopters, 18 armored vehicles, 29 howitzers, 21 military vehicles, six ammunition depots, seven mortars, and four Soviet-made DShK heavy machine guns in the last 17 days of operations in southern Idlib.

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-51667717

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/28/tensions-rise-between-turkey-and-russia-after-killing-of-troops-in-syria

[3] https://www.islam21c.com/news-views/saraqib-recaptured-as-erdogan-vows-turkey-will-not-take-a-smallest-step-back-in-idlib/

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/20/the-highway-that-determines-the-future-for-syria-and-its-citizens

[5] https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/diplomacy/nato-to-hold-emergency-meeting-over-attack-on-turkish-soldiers

[6] https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/diplomacy/nato-to-hold-emergency-meeting-over-attack-on-turkish-soldiers

[7] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-51667717

[8] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-51667717

[9] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/28/tensions-rise-between-turkey-and-russia-after-killing-of-troops-in-syria

[10] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/28/tensions-rise-between-turkey-and-russia-after-killing-of-troops-in-syria

[11] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/28/tensions-rise-between-turkey-and-russia-after-killing-of-troops-in-syria

[12] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/28/tensions-rise-between-turkey-and-russia-after-killing-of-troops-in-syria

About Abdullah Izzadin

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