Second day heavy artillery strikes in Syria. Russia blames Turkey
DAMASCUS, ($1=1,257.86 Syrian Pounds) – Russian media report on the second day of heavy artillery strikes in the area of Idlib, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Aviapro. The agency claims that despite the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara continues to disregard the agreement in Syria. This has led to the use of Syrian artillery to attack positions of pro-Turkish military units.
According to the Russian news agency, the Syrian Arab Army [SAA] is using the Multiple Launch Rocket System [MLRS] BM-21 Grad, BM-27 Uragan and 9A52-4 Tornado, which have destroyed the positions of the jihadists. Syrian sources claim that as a result of the artillery strikes, much of the equipment available to pro-Turkish troops were destroyed. There is no official information on the number of victims on both sides.
Our field source reports that today the Syrian army has stopped the offensive in Idlib, but continues with the bombing. According to him, the intensity of artillery strikes is increasing. Air support is expected from the Russian Air Force, which has just such a practice – to support the ground offensive by air.
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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