On September 1st, the first joint Turkish-Russian exercise in Ternaba, Idlib concluded.
This is the second exercise that took place in two days, with the first one taking place on August 31st.
The two militaries exercised having their patrols attacked by terrorists and combating them.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said that the exercise was successful.
The head of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria confirmed the exercise took place.
The commander stated that “Russian military police and Turkish armed forces conducted the first joint exercise.”
“The exercise included a joint shooting of subversive groups affiliated with armed gangs that refuse reconciliation, withdrawing the affected military equipment, and providing first-aid to wounded,” he added.
He further clarified, “This exercise aims to guarantee the safety of Russian-Turkish joint patrols on the M4 Highway in Idlib to ease escalation.”
Armed groups repeatedly attacked Russian-Turkish joint patrols on the M4 Highway that connects Aleppo to Latakia, the last of which was on August 25th, when two Russian soldiers were injured and a Russian armored vehicle was damaged.
In a statement, the Russian Reconciliation Center confirmed that armed groups fired a grenade launcher at the patrol.
Earlier, on August 18th, an improvised explosive device detonated on the route of the Russian military convoy in Syria. As a result, three Russian soldiers were wounded. During the evacuation of the wounded, a Russian senior military adviser was killed.
Many of the militants in Idlib are conditionally allied to Turkey, but evidently there is no issue with biting the hand that feeds.
To reinforce that, a new group which identified itself as “Saraya Abu Bakr al-Siddiq” said it is a jihadist faction and claimed responsibility for an attempted attack on a Turkish military base in Southern Idlib.
Saraya Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, a new group identifying itself as a jihadist faction, has claimed responsibility for the attempted attack on a Turkish military base in S-Idlib.
Turkey's silence, not reacting on the incident, raises the question why exactly it is restraining. pic.twitter.com/hp058mrrVZ
— Jens Hittrien (@JensHittrien) September 1, 2020
And to provide some context on Turkey’s activities in Idlib, and likely why even the jihadists are turning on it: the photograph below shows a fertilizer which says “Produced in Idlib, Turkey.”
It should be reminded that city of Idlib and surrounding area is under Syrian sovereignty and it has been so, for a while, but it is showing what Turkey’s aspirations are for the area it occupies.
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