DAMASCUS, (BM) – Russia’s Aviapro news agency reported yesterday, January 9, 2021, that Russian aerospace forces had carried out airstrikes and destroyed a convoy of oil tankers destined for Turkey. According to the agency, the strike was inflicted by a fighter jet. Another Russian agency, INAED, claims the strike was carried out by unmanned aerial vehicles.
The oil was traveling from Syria to Turkey. According to the Sentry Syria resource, Russian intelligence has received information about the planned transfer. Sources in Sentry Syria claim that Russian fighters’ activity in the air that night was high, more than usual.
A video that has been filmed minutes after the attack has been circulating on social media. The video footage shows the intense fires that engulfed the convoy after the Russian attack. Aviapro claims that the attack took place shortly before the convoy left Syria and entered Turkey. Sources on the ground near the Syrian-Turkish border differ in their claims so far. Some claim that Russian planes destroyed the entire convoy. Others say only three oil tankers of the whole convoy were damaged.
According to Aviapro, fighter jets carried out the Russian attack immediately after leaving the city of Al-Bab. The city is located in the province of Aleppo and is under the control of the Turkish militia since 2016. Al-Bab has located 30 km from the border with Turkey and 40 km from Aleppo.
The attack may be a response to the destroyed Russian base in Tell Tamer
As we reported on January 7, 2021, a Russian military base located in Tell Tamer, Aleppo province, was partially destroyed by a Turkish artillery fire. The reason was “another mistake” by the Turkish military, which miscalculated the Syrian democratic forces’ positions.
Although the strikes on the Russian military base in Tell Tamer are defined as unintentional, we remind you that Russia has built consistency in its military operations in Syria over the years. The Russian military responds to any fire, whether provocative or not, with a retaliatory air strike within 24 hours.
The destruction of the Turkish oil convoy could describe as an attempt by Russia to stop the export of Syrian oil from the country and as the “expected” Russian response 24 hours after the Russian base attack.
War in Syria
In February, Turkey lost at least 62 troops killed in Syria, nearly 100 soldiers were wounded, dozens of Turkish armored vehicles were destroyed and more than ten drones, including drone, 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, concluded an agreement according to which 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 be able to use force.
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 a number of 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. Turkey is also supported by militants loyal to it.
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