Russian Su-34s bombed pro-Turkish positions in Idlib, Syria

DAMASCUS, (BM) – Some Russian media reported on the bombing of the province of Idlib in Syria. Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers reportedly carried out airstrikes on pro-Turkish troops and their positions in the Syrian region.

The attacks took place on March 30th. According to field sources, shortly after the attacks in the sky over the bombed areas, a drone was spotted, allegedly an Iranian model Ababil.

Military experts and political scientists say the Russian attacks result from Ankara’s attempts to thwart a planned evacuation of civilians in the area.

There were signals of Russian strikes

In the last few weeks, Russia has sent additional equipment and weapons systems to Syria. The signals for impending Russian attacks were present when it became clear that five military transport planes had delivered the 4th Su-34 fighter-bomber in early March.

Later, four warships crossed the Bosphorus and headed for the eastern Mediterranean. Finally, a few days ago, local observers spotted six Russian submarines in the Black Sea heading for the Mediterranean.

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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