On February 20, the 2nd Army of NATO and its proxy forces once again failed to capture the village of Nayrab, eastern Idlib, from the Syrian Army. The Turkish attack involved 2 dozens of military equipment pieces, including battle tanks and artillery, over 200 Turkish soldiers and approximately 300 members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and other Turkish-backed groups.
The Turkish attack started at approximately 13:00 local time under jeers of mainstream media regarding the nearing collapse of the Syrian defense and the Assad government under powerful strikes of the Turkish Army. By 14:00 local time, some Turkish supporters in twitter already concurred Aleppo city and were preparing to advance on Damascus.
However, by 17:00 it appeared that the attack died out despite the massive rocket and artillery strikes and the participation of Turkish troops united their efforts against the Syrians with al-Qaeda. Turkish-led forces, supposedly Turkish troops, even launched a MANPAD at a Russian Su-24 warplane that came to provide a close-air-support to Syrian troops. After this, the Turkish Defense Ministry reported that 2 Turkish soldiers were killed and 5 others were injured in an airstrike.
In keeping with the best traditions, the Turkish Defense Ministry a victorious statement claiming that 50 ‘Assad troops’ were killed, 2 Syrian battle tanks, 2 armoured vehicles, 2 armed pickups and a howitzer were destroyed. However, all what the Turkish side was able to demonstrate to confirm these claims were a few Hayat Tahrir al-Sham selfies from the vicinity of Nayrab. Turkish state media immediately declared that Turkish forces did not want to capture the village and just sent a message to the oppressive Assad regime.
After this, the mighty Turkish Army requested Patriots systems from the United States in order to deter the Assad aggression in Idlib. There are two explanations:
- Ankara apparently missed news that Patriots deployed at in Saudi Arabia had repeatedly failed to protect its military infrastructure from missile and drone strikes by the Yemeni Houthis.
- The Erdogan government would like to see troops of the United States in Idlib alongside their Turkish and al-Qaeda counterparts.
The Russian side officially confirmed that its warplanes supported the Syrian Army striking targets in Idlib. According to it, a battle tank, 6 armoured vehicles and 5 armed pickups were destroyed. Moscow says that Turkish artillery strikes injured 4 Syrian soldiers.
February is coming to its end and the Turkish ultimatum demanding the Syrians to withdraw from the liberated areas is expiring. The inability of Turkish forces to recapture even a single village from the Syrian Army already became a powerful blow to the public image of the Erdogan government. Therefore, it’s likely that the Turkish Army will continue their attacks in Idlib paying with own blood for neo-ottoman dreams of Erdogan and its inner circle.