DAMASCUS, ($1=1,257.86 Syrian Pounds) – Russia is preparing for a large-scale operation in Syria and has sent an additional 20 fighter jets to support the Syrian Arab army, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing a source at Russia’s Kamishli airbase. The newly arrived aircraft are four MiG-29 fighters, five Su-35 fighters, and 12 Su-34 fighter-bombers. According to our source, two Ka-52 attack helicopters have also been sent.
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According to analysts based on the information provided by us, this meant that the Russians were preparing to conduct an operation against pro-Turkish and Turkish troops in the northern part of the Arab Republic. “This action demonstrates Moscow’s intention to launch an air operation in support of the Syrian Arab Army for the final liberation of Idlib province and neighboring provinces,” said Vitaly Sherevenko, a military analyst and reporter in the Middle East.
“Russia has no intention of attacking Turkish troops directly in the area, but Ankara’s actions will in one way or another provoke the Russians, as the Turks will attack Kurdish units that are cooperating with the Syrian Arab Army. Some of these Kurdish units are stationed near the positions of the Syrians” Sherevenko continues with his analysis.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Turkey accused Russia of obstructing Turkish operations in the region, precisely because of the presence of Kurds cooperating with the Syrian government and the Russian military.
The document has not yet been commented on by the Russian Air Force Command in Syria, but according to those familiar with their actions over the past 72 hours, Moscow has used the airspace of Iran and Iraq to transfer the fighters.
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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