Turkish military convoy headed to Idlib targeted in strikes

2019/08/645x344-turkish-military-convoy-headed-to-idlib-town-targeted-by-syria-regime-bombing-1566210365468-1566251226.jpg
Read: 698     10:19     20 August 2019    

A Turkish military convoy which crossed into northwest Syria on Monday to head for the observation points near the key town of Khan Sheikhoun, where Assad regime forces are fiercely battling opposition groups, came under attack of regime jets.


The route of the convoy, which included additional troops and vehicles to be deployed in No. 9 observation point in Morek and No. 10 observation point in Zawiyah, was hit in airstrikes, Demirören News Agency (DHA) said, adding that the convoy was stopped in a safe location.

On Sunday pro-regime forces entered Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province for the first time since they lost control of it in 2014. The advance not only threatens the town, in opposition hands since 2014, but also to encircle insurgent fighters in their only patch of territory in neighboring Hama province. Regime forces are battling to seize a key highway connecting regime-held Damascus with the northern city of Aleppo, which the regime retook from opposition groups in December 2016. Pro-regime forces arrived at the northwest flank of the town under heavy airstrikes and were fighting to march into it, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Residents said warplanes pounded the town and nearby positions during the night. The roads and the countryside between Khan Sheikhoun and Maarat al-Numan, a major town located some 20 kilometers north.

Turkey has 12 observation posts in Idlib, the last major opposition stronghold in the war-torn country. One of the observation points is about 10 kilometers south of Khan Sheikhoun in the Morek district. If fighting in the area expands, the Morek observation point could face a siege.

Ankara backs moderate opposition groups in the northwest and has deployed forces into the Idlib region under Astana peace process deal with Russia, Syrian leader Bashar Assad's most powerful ally, and Iran, which backs the regime through militia on the ground.

The Idlib region is supposed to be protected from a massive regime offensive by a buffer zone deal signed between Russia and Turkey in September. But it was never fully implemented, as terrorist groups including the Al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front, refused to withdraw from the planned demilitarized zone and instead increased their grip in the region.

The Turkish Defense Ministry issued a statement Monday saying that three civilians were killed and 12 more were wounded in the airstrikes targeting the convoy. "Despite repeated warnings we made to the authorities of the Russian Federation, the military operations by the regime forces continue in Idlib region in violation of the existing memorandums and agreements with the Russian Federation, causing great harm to the civilian / innocent people and gradually turning into a humanitarian drama," the statement said.

Daily Sabah



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Turkish military convoy headed to Idlib targeted in strikes

2019/08/645x344-turkish-military-convoy-headed-to-idlib-town-targeted-by-syria-regime-bombing-1566210365468-1566251226.jpg
Read: 699     10:19     20 August 2019    

A Turkish military convoy which crossed into northwest Syria on Monday to head for the observation points near the key town of Khan Sheikhoun, where Assad regime forces are fiercely battling opposition groups, came under attack of regime jets.


The route of the convoy, which included additional troops and vehicles to be deployed in No. 9 observation point in Morek and No. 10 observation point in Zawiyah, was hit in airstrikes, Demirören News Agency (DHA) said, adding that the convoy was stopped in a safe location.

On Sunday pro-regime forces entered Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province for the first time since they lost control of it in 2014. The advance not only threatens the town, in opposition hands since 2014, but also to encircle insurgent fighters in their only patch of territory in neighboring Hama province. Regime forces are battling to seize a key highway connecting regime-held Damascus with the northern city of Aleppo, which the regime retook from opposition groups in December 2016. Pro-regime forces arrived at the northwest flank of the town under heavy airstrikes and were fighting to march into it, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Residents said warplanes pounded the town and nearby positions during the night. The roads and the countryside between Khan Sheikhoun and Maarat al-Numan, a major town located some 20 kilometers north.

Turkey has 12 observation posts in Idlib, the last major opposition stronghold in the war-torn country. One of the observation points is about 10 kilometers south of Khan Sheikhoun in the Morek district. If fighting in the area expands, the Morek observation point could face a siege.

Ankara backs moderate opposition groups in the northwest and has deployed forces into the Idlib region under Astana peace process deal with Russia, Syrian leader Bashar Assad's most powerful ally, and Iran, which backs the regime through militia on the ground.

The Idlib region is supposed to be protected from a massive regime offensive by a buffer zone deal signed between Russia and Turkey in September. But it was never fully implemented, as terrorist groups including the Al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front, refused to withdraw from the planned demilitarized zone and instead increased their grip in the region.

The Turkish Defense Ministry issued a statement Monday saying that three civilians were killed and 12 more were wounded in the airstrikes targeting the convoy. "Despite repeated warnings we made to the authorities of the Russian Federation, the military operations by the regime forces continue in Idlib region in violation of the existing memorandums and agreements with the Russian Federation, causing great harm to the civilian / innocent people and gradually turning into a humanitarian drama," the statement said.

Daily Sabah



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