Is Russia preparing a powerful strike on terrorists in Syria?
PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – Russian military experts believe that Moscow is preparing in the coming days for a powerful terrorist attack in Syria in Aleppo and Idlib. Aviapro reports the entry of at least six Russian submarines into the Black Sea. These are the electro-diesel submarines of the Varshavyankya class.
Experts believe that the transfer of military equipment to Syria in recent weeks is related to events. Moscow has already sent three assault ships to the Mediterranean. Weeks earlier, several large transport planes were transporting a Su-34 fighter-bomber.
Is Russia preparing a powerful strike on terrorists and pro-Turkish fighters by air, sea, and land? Is there a connection between these Russian transfers of military equipment and the Syrian Arab Army’s campaign to withdraw civilians from the controlled territories? Questions to which we will probably get an answer very soon.
Based on the main forces stationed in Syria, such an attack will be large-scale and devastating. Maybe we are waiting for the last action of the other player in these territories – Turkey. An alleged withdrawal of Turkish troops and part of the controlled areas would be a clear sign that Erdogan is also relying on Moscow’s actions in a similar way. Or maybe he believes that Russia will not take military action against areas where there is a robust presence of Turkish troops?
Whatever happens, we will find out soon. But it is a fact that such a transfer of Russian military equipment from Moscow to Damascus has not taken place in the last five years of the Syrian civil war.
Russia has already shown its airpower this year
When Russia is “silent,” it does it for months. When it attacks, it does it quickly, surprisingly, and powerfully. An example of the latter is an analysis by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
On March 11 this year, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights provided statistics on Russian activity in Syria. According to reports, Russia has carried out 280 airstrikes in 96 hours (four days). According to the SOHR, Russian units performed almost half of them (130) in the last 24 hours.
The SOHR also says that the Syrian army has also increased its activity. In 24 hours, the Syrian Arab Army fired 225 artillery shells and missiles. There is still no exact death toll from the Russian and Syrian attacks, but experts believe the casualties could reach about 300.
Russian aerospace forces have struck the eastern Hama Desert, the vicinity of Al-Rahjan-Atariya, the Aleppo-Al-Raqqa-Hama Triangle, and the Palmyra Desert in east Homs. Not only Islamic State positions but also units supporting the Turkish occupation of Syria have been targeted. The death toll from Islamic State is 43, according to the SOHR.
The Syrian Arab Army has fought mainly in Jabal Ez-Zawiya in Idlib province, concentrated in Al-Fatira, Safokhin, Kansafra, Al-Ruwaiha, Benin, Flifel, and the outskirts of al-Baraha.
War in Syria
In February 2020, Turkey lost at least 62 troops killed in Syria. Nearly 100 soldiers were wounded, Syrian-backed forces destroyed dozens of Turkish armored vehicles, and more than ten drones, including drones, were shot down. Washington has repeatedly accused Moscow of involvement in the deaths of Turkish soldiers, Russia rejects these allegations.
In early March, the presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed that a ceasefire came into force in the Idlib de-escalation zone. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad later said that if the US and Turkish military did not leave the country, Damascus would use power.
The reason for the Russian-Turkish negotiations was a sharp aggravation of the situation in Idlib, where in January, a large-scale offensive by the Syrian army against the positions of the armed opposition and terrorists began.
Government forces recaptured nearly half of the Idlib de-escalation zone and left behind several Turkish observation posts. After that, Ankara sharply increased its military contingent in the region and launched the operation “Spring Shield” to push the Syrian troops. Militants are loyal to Ankara and support Turkey.
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