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Turkish Sultan-In-Chief On Guard For AQ In Idlib
South Front, Feb 20 2020

Tensions between Pindostan and Russia are growing in north-eastern Syria. On Feb 19, a video appeared online showing how an armored vehicle of the Pindo military was pushing a vehicle of the Russian Military Police off a road. The Pindo move endangered a civilian standing near the road. If he had not run away in time, he would have been killed by the vehicle. The incident reportedly took place to the east of the city of al-Qamishli in the northern al-Hasakah countryside. Russian air defense forces repelled a drone and missile attack on the Khmeimim airbase in the province of Latakia. Pro-government sources reported that the attack was carried out from the southern part of the Idlib DEZ, where militants are still present. On Feb 19, Erdogan declared that the Turkish military has finished preparations for an operation against the SAA in Greater Idlib, and its start is inevitable because SAA troops are not planning to withdraw from the recently liberated areas. On the same day, Turkey continued deployment of additional troops and equipment to the region, as well as directly to the front-line, especially in the eastern countryside of Idlib city and the town of Atarib. Turkish media outlets are enthusiastically drawing maps of a possible Turkish aggression. Pro-Turkish sources claim that the operation in Idlib will not only help to rescue supposed civilians from the regime offensive, but also help to separate the so-called “moderate opposition” from terrorists. According to these claims, HTS/Nusra, the Turkistan Islamic Party and the other AQ-linked groups which make up over 80% of Idlib militants will be disbanded. It would be interesting to see how Ankara would go about disbanding and disarming the forces that it has been supplying with weapons and supporting so much. Do Turkish media outlets really expect their audience to believe that from one moment to the next tens of thousands of battle-hardened AQ members are going to abandon their ideology and become florists or Instagram bloggers?

Syrians Are In Desperate Race To Outrun Brutal Regime Offensive
South Front, Feb 20 2020

Syrians are in a desperate race to outrun the offensive of the brutal Assad regime. The ruthless government forces are aggressively destroying helpless mines and car bombs, treacherously restoring roads, schools and residential houses, cruelly launching road patrols, and (oh, the horror!) oppressing moderate oppositionists from AQ. On Feb 18, the brutality of the regime reached a new peak with the reopening of Aleppo International Airport after nine years of closure. According to reports, upcoming destinations for Aleppo will include Beirut, Dubai, Cairo, Moscow and Erevan. The airlines that will be doing business with Aleppo Airport will be Syrian Arab Airways, Cham Wings, Iran Air and Aeroflot. Syria blatantly violated all fair-trade acts by excluding Turkish airlines from the project. In contrast to Aleppo operators, the Turkish companies had already proven themselves as safe and comfortable carriers of Idlib rebels that move to make money in Libya by fighting on behalf of Turkish-backed factions. In north-eastern Syria, regime forces once again blocked a Pindo military patrol, forcing it to turn back and thus undermining Mr Trump’s democratic efforts to ‘secure’ Syrian oil for Pindo companies and military contractors. However, the wildest crimes are taken place in Greater Idlib, where the Syrians reject Turkish demands to withdraw from areas cowardly captured from AQ groups. The second round of the Turkish-Russian talks on the situation in Idlib ended on Feb 18 without any final statement. On the same day, the SAA & RAF continued striking positions of Turkish protegees. Fortunately, a spox for the Turkish ruling party declared that Ankara had informed Moscow that it would attack Assad forces if it does not leave in peace AQ and withdraw from the captured areas. During the past weeks, Turkey concentrated thousands of troops and military equipment pieces in the area. So, there is at least one strong pillar of democracy in the Idlib question. The Pindo president already announced that he and Mr Erdogan were “working together” on the Idlib plan to prevent a tragedy. Mr Trump told media:

He doesn’t want people to be killed by the thousands, and hundreds of thousands.

Earlier, Mark Lowcock, the UN’s humanitarian affairs chief, said on Monday that “indiscriminate” violence in the region reached “a horrifying new level.” Idlib rebels can feel secure about the interests of their foreign backers. They are planning to sell Idlib groups at some useful price.

Russian Su-24 Planes Strike Pro-Turkish Terrorists, Allowing SAA to Repel Attacks
Sputnik News, Feb 20 2020

According to the Russian Reconciliation Centre for Syria, pro-Turkish militants, with the support of the Turkish artillery, broke through the defences of the SAA in the areas of Qminas and Nayrab. Russian Su-24 aircraft have conducted airstrikes against pro-Turkish terrorists, which allowed the Syrian troops to repel all attacks successfully, the Russian Reconciliation Centre for Syria said in a statement. The message said:

The SAA troops destroyed one tank, six infantry fighting vehicles and five pickup trucks containing large-calibre weapons.

The Centre also added that four SAA servicemen were injured by Turkish artillery. The organisation went on to say that Turkey halted shelling against Syrian government troops as soon as Russia notified Ankara that it had detected the Turkish artillery fire. The centre emphasised:

This is not the first time that the Turkish armed forces have supported the militants. In order to prevent incidents, we urge the Turkish side to stop supporting the actions of terrorists and transferring weapons to them.

In the meantime, the Turkish Defence Ministry reported that two Turkish servicemen were killed, while five others were injured in an air attack in Syria’s Idlib. The ministry added that over 50 ‘regime elements’ were destroyed, including five tanks, two APCs, two armed pickups and a Howitzer. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported citing an unnamed senior Turkish boxtop that Ankara requested two Patriot missile-defence batteries from Pindostan to repel SAA backed by RAF in Idlib. According to Bloomberg, Turkey has asked Pindostan to deploy the batteries on its southern border, close to Syria, in order to “punish any future attacks by SAA troops backed by Russian airpower.” The Turkish Defence Ministry denied making any such request to Faschingstein. Earlier, Erdogan stated that Ankara is not satisfied with Russian-Turkish negotiations on Idlib, and is ready to launch an offensive in the region. The Kremlin characterised this as the worst-case scenario.

SAA Units Repel Terrorist Attacks in Idlib – SANA Reporter
Sputnik News, Feb 20 2020

In December, SAA forces launched an offensive to recapture areas of Idlib Province, the last remaining rebel stronghold in the country. Tensions in the region escalated further after SAA forces shelled a Turkish observation point on Feb 3, killing seven military personnel and one civilian contractor. SAA units have repelled terrorist attacks on the Nayrab axis in the Idlib countryside in northwestern Syria, SANA reported on Thursday. Fierce fighting was reported close to the north-western city of Saraqib. Government forces have air cover and are fighting back with artillery fire. The government continues the military operation to oust jihadis from parts of the region bordering Turkey, which has observation posts there. Erdogan told SAA troops on Monday to pull away from Turkish positions or face swift military action. Syria vowed to continue the offensive. The situation in Idlib Province has escalated recently after SAA forces shelled a Turkish observation point on Feb 3, prompting Erdogan to threaten a military operation in Idlib at “any minute.” In 2017, Russia, Turkey and Iran created four DEZs in Syria during their talks in Astana. Three out of four DEZs are controlled by the SAA, but Damascus does not exercise control over the fourth zone, comprising Idlib Province and portions of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces. A major part of the area is controlled by HTS/Nusra jihadis. In Sep 2018, Moscow and Ankara agreed in Sochi to establish a DMZ in Idlib, where more than a dozen forces are stationed.

RAF strikes repel militant attack on SAA in Idlib – Defense Ministry
RT.com, Feb 20 2020

Turkish battery of self-propelled guns targets fire support groups during militant offensive in Idlib

The RAF launched strikes to repel a militant offensive against the SAA in Idlib, which had sought to breach the government forces’ defensive lines, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The militants, supported by Turkey, had shelled the SAA positions in the region. However, the Turkish forces stopped the artillery barrage after Moscow contacted Ankara, the ministry added. The militants had launched a “massive offensive” southeast of the city of Idlib, using many armored vehicles, the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria said on Thursday, adding that it was Turkish artillery that helped them breach the SAA defenses in some areas. Aerial footage published by the Russian Defense Ministry shows a Turkish self-propelled howitzer battery shelling the SAA positions. At the request of Damascus, Russian Su-24 strike aircraft hit the advancing armed groups, helping Syrian forces to repel the offensive, destroying a tank and six infantry-fighting vehicles, among other hardware. The reconciliation center also said that the Turkish shelling left four SAA soldiers injured. Moscow also once again called on Ankara to cease its support for terrorists in Idlib, and stop handing over weapons to them. Meanwhile, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said that two Turkish soldiers were killed and five others injured in the airstrikes. The incident comes amid a spike in tensions between Damascus and Ankara. Turkey has opposed the SAA’s advances in the battle against extremists and militants entrenched in Idlib province for quite some time. On Wednesday, Erdogan said that Turkey would not “leave Idlib to the Assad regime” and threatened to launch an incursion into the province. Turkey had already reinforced its outposts in the area, which is the last remaining major militant stronghold on the Syrian territory. Russia repeatedly warned Turkey against attacking the SAA and has continued diplomatic efforts to ease tensions around Idlib.

‘Terrorists’ launch major attack against SAA in Idlib, reports say ‘pro-Turkish’ militants involved
RT.com, Feb 20 2020

Syrian state media say “terrorists” have launched a major offensive in the province of Idlib. Some reports suggest “pro-Turkish” militants are also taking part, as tensions between Ankara and Damascus mount. Citing its reporter on the ground, SANA news agency said on Thursday that SAA forces have been repelling militant attacks towards the village of Al-Nayrab, south-east of Idlib. The community was liberated by Damascus earlier this month, when the SAA made gains in the areas controlled by pro-Turkish groups. Turkish media outlets say that the anti-government forces are pressing towards Al-Nayrab and near the city of Saraqib, an important road junction, which was also seized by the SAA in early February. Anadolu reported that intense clashes continued after the militants entered Al-Nayrab, destroying a Syrian tank and an APC, as well as capturing another tank. The militants battling the SAA has been heavily supported by Turkish army artillery, the Russian defense ministry said. To avoid further breaches of the defense lines, Moscow launched airstrikes against the “terrorists.” Earlier, reports and videos on social media also suggested that the militants in Idlib were aided by military hardware supplied by Ankara. The latter had recently sent army units and commandos across the border, reinforcing its outposts in Idlib Province, which is adjacent to the Aleppo region. Turkish boxtops openly threatened to start a military operation in support of their proxies if the SAA continued advancing towards Idlib, the last-remaining major large stronghold controlled by anti-Damascus groups. Renewed tensions around Idlib have caused a rift between Turkey and Russia, which strongly warned Ankara against attacking SAA troops. The two countries set up a DEZ around Idlib. Turkey has been accusing Damascus of violating the ceasefire and shelling Turkish troops. Russia insists that government forces only carry out attacks against terrorists, while Ankara had failed on its promise to clear the DEZ of jihadi groups.

“Fight” for the road
Colonel Cassad, Feb 20 2020

Next crush the Pindos in Rojava almost ended sadly. “Tiger” tried to avoid Pindos, they were swerving on the road, disturbing a few of them to go round, and when the Tiger went for the pass on the shoulder, Pindos began to block the body. The result was nearly crushed someone local.

Road Incident in Qamishli
Sputnik News, Feb 20 2020

Neither CENTCOM nor the Russian Ministry of Defence has commented on a video, showing an incident involving troops. The timing of the event also remains unclear. A video of an accident featuring Russian and Pindo servicemen in the Syrian city of Qamishli has been posted online. The footage (the authenticity of which is yet to be confirmed) shows a Russian Infantry Mobility Vehicle Tiger trying to catch up to its column, driving around two Pindo-flagged vehicles, when one of the armoured vehicles (presumably, an Oshkosh M-ATV) suddenly edges it off the road. The video then stops, so the aftermath of the incident remains unclear. ​This is not the first report of an incident with the Pindo military in the border city of Qamishli. A patrol previously clashed with civilians there. One Syrian child and one adult died as a result, while the coalition stated the troops had to open fire in self-defence.

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