Syrian soldiers were killed; US supports Erdogan for Syria; Iranian satellite launch failed

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PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – Your briefly report on February 12 in last twelve hours from

Turkey says 51 Syrian soldiers killed as rebels hit back in Idlib

Turkey said on Tuesday 51 Syrian soldiers were killed in northwest Syria as Turkish-backed rebels struck back against Russian-supported government forces who had made gains in their campaign to eliminate the last insurgent bastion in the country.

The Turkish Defence Ministry cited sources on the ground for the information, adding that two Syrian tanks and one ammunition store were destroyed as well.

Hours before, a war monitor reported that Syrian government forces seized control of the main Aleppo-to-Damascus highway running through the embattled northwest province of Idlib for the first time since the early days of the civil war in 2012.

But Syrian state media made no mention of this and rebel sources later said fighting was continuing in some northern areas near the M-5 highway, which links Aleppo with the capital Damascus and ultimately Deraa in the far south.

Top US diplomat stands by Turkey over deadly attack

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered his condolences to Turkey following a deadly Syrian regime attack on Turkish forces in northwestern Syria’s Idlib province.

“My condolences to the families of the soldiers killed in yesterday’s attack in Idlib,” Pompeo said on Twitter. “The ongoing assaults by the Assad regime and Russia must stop. I’ve sent Jim Jeffrey to Ankara to coordinate steps to respond to this destabilizing attack. We stand by our NATO Ally #Turkey.”

U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy for the Syrian conflict, left Washington on Monday for Ankara where he is slated to meet with senior Turkish officials. The State Department said Jeffrey would “discuss issues of mutual concern, including the Assad regime’s Russian-backed military offensive in Idlib.”

The agency did not give a timeline for his stay in Turkey, but said he would travel to Germany for a Feb. 13 security conference.

Failed satellite launch causes massive explosion in rural Iran

Iran’s fourth failed satellite launch in a year ended with a bang after the Zafar satellite failed to enter orbit on Sunday, crashing in a rural area of southeast Iran. Local residents reported eight massive explosions and saw a large light in the sky, according to Radio Farda.

Iran succeeded in launching the new satellite into outer space, but failed to place the satellite into orbit, according to Iranian reports. All stages of the launch proceeded correctly, but the satellite did not reach the speed needed to inject it into the desired orbit, according to the Iranian Fars News.

According to NASA, the launch appears to have failed during the second or third stage of the flight when the Simorgh rocket reached the 540 kilometer trajectory, about a thousand meters per second short of the velocity required to reach orbit.

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Source: MEMO, Anadolu, TJP

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