Israeli airstrikes in Syria, Russia reports chemical weapons
DAMASCUS, BM, ($1=1,257.86 Syrian Pounds) – The last 48 hours in Syria have been active on several fronts, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing its sources and information published in Russian media. Israeli airstrikes and a chemical tank are the focus of news in the area.
Russian General Vadim Kulit, head of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria [RRCS], spoke to RIA Novosti and said that on July 25, Israeli F-16s entered Syrian airspace from the southwest and fired two air cruise missiles. According to General Kulit, the Syrian Arab Army [SAA] has responded to the threat by intercepting the missiles and destroying them using the Russian-made BUK-M2E air defense system.
There is no official confirmation from Israel about the air attack. However, the Israeli military has no practice of disclosing such information, even if it is a fact. The Israeli Ministry of Defense discloses its participation only in operations aimed at revenge for past attacks on Israelis, Israeli facilities, or Israeli-flagged sites.
A day earlier, General Kulit told a news briefing that Russian military intelligence had information that the White Helmets, together with the terrorist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, had delivered a tanker of poisonous chemicals to the area of Atma, Idlib province. . According to the Russian general, the fighters intend to use the poisonous chemicals in a missile attack and then blame the Syrian government for it. However, this information remains unconfirmed by the Syrian Arab News Agency [SANA].
Russia does not recognize the activities of the White Helmets, considering it a terrorist group among others in the region. In the past, Russia has also reported similar possible attacks, but these have never happened. The last such information coming from Russian sources was in March last year when again the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria warned of a planned chemical attack in the area of Saraqib.
In 2017, however, the international community condemned the actions of the Syrian government, aided by the Russian military, for carrying out a serious chemical attack on civilians. The United States then joined the civil war in Syria, carrying out serious airstrikes with Tomahawk missiles overnight.
The civil war in Syria
The Syrian civil war has been going on for almost a decade. Attempts by movements such as the Syrian Democratic Forces to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have failed.
The Syrian democratic forces are armed by allies and the United States, while the Syrian army is armed mainly by Russia. Russia is the only country officially invited to Syria by President Bashar al-Assad.
In 2017, the United States launched a massive missile strike on Bashar al-Assad’s forces after a report emerged that the Syrian president had used chemical weapons to attack his people in the country. Syria and Russia deny such actions.
During his tenure, US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw much of US troops from Syria, leaving several troops to guard Syria’s oil fields on the pretext of “falling into the hands of Islamic State.”
With the withdrawal of the United States, Turkey comes to the fore, declaring it necessary to deal with the Kurds and the PKK movement in the northern part of the country, which borders Turkey. That is why Erdogan is sending troops in an attempt to build a stable and secure 30km zone between Syria and Turkey, which will prevent future terrorist attacks on Turkish territory, as it is.
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 2020, 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 military 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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