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Human Shields: Turkish Forces Suffer Casualties In Syrian Army Attack On Idlib

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Human Shields: Turkish Forces Suffer Casualties In Syrian Army Attack On Idlib

Turkey and the United States are employing active diplomatic, media and even limited military measures to contain the Syrian Army offensive against terrorists in Greater Idlib.

On January 31, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened the Damascus government with a military action if the Syrian Army does not stop its anti-terrorism operation in Idlib. The official Turkish rhetoric says that the operation against rebels (i.e. al-Qaeda—linked radicals) put the region on the brink of the humanitarian crisis and displaced hundreds of thousands people that started fleeing to Turkey. This stance corresponds with the position of the US State Department that also accused the Assad government and its allies of violating the ceasefire regime and causing civilian casualties. Both Ankara and Washington did not address the fact that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other groups linked to al-Qaeda were excluded from all ceasefire deals that have ever been reached on the situation in Idlib. Turkey and the US are not interested in the defeat of terrorists by the Syrian Army because this would strengthen the positions of the Damascus government. At the same time, they contributed no efforts to defeat al-Qaeda by themselves.

On February 1 and 2, the Turkish military established several positions near the militant-held town of Saraqib, located on the crossroad of the M4 and M5 highway. On February 2, Turkish troops and equipment arrived in Idlib city. Local sources say that a Turkish observation post will soon be established there. These observation posts are intended to shield these key areas from the Syrian Army offensive into the region. The irony of the move is that both these towns, as well as most of Idlib province, are controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham that Aknara officially considers a terrorist group. This may appear to be not enough taking into account the scale of clashes between al-Qaeda and pro-Damascus forces.

On January 31 and February 1, government forces liberated over 8 villages, including Ain al-Ban, Muqah and Amiriyah,‏ in southeastern Idlib. However, the army did not attacked Saraqib and the main hot point moved to Aleppo.

On January 31, the army cleared the town of Rajm Judran, Khirbat Kharas and Tulul al-Hazmr, al-Khalidya from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham forces in western Aleppo. At least 17 militants were captured and a dozen of others were killed in the clashes. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham responded to this advance with a fierce counter-attack involving suicide bombers. The first suicide bombing took place in al-Sahafyeen. Then, the area was recaptured by militants.

On February 1 and 2, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham continued attacking  army positions reportedly recapturing the area of al-Zahraa. At least 3 suicide bombers were employed to break the army defense. Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham leader Abu Mohamad al-Julani personally arrived on the frontline in order to motivate the so-called moderate opposition. Despite these efforts, the army backed up by Russian air power and special forces contained the militant attack, and even liberated Humayra‏ and Halisah. Pro-militant sources reported that 4 Russian service members were killed during the February 1 clashes. If these claims are confirmed, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham leadership will likely try to exploit this to draw attention of militants’ supporters from the recent military setbacks.

An escalation also took place near al-Bab, where Turkish-backed forces attacked positions of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian Army on February 1. The main clashes took place at Kharabishah, Tell Rahhal and the Sha’alah RADAR Base. Early on February 2, five airstrikes by unknown warplanes hit positions of Turkish proxies in al-Bab. After this no clashes erupted in the area.

Pro-militant sources release multiple contradictory reports on the supposed army casualties in Aleppo and Idlib clashes. Summing up them, militants claim that over 150 soldiers were killed and at least 15 units of military equipment were destroyed. The Syrian side provides no official reports on militant casualties. Photos and videos from the ground show tens of vehicles belonging to militants that had been captured or destroyed by the army.

If the situation continues escalating and further, the ongoing battle may become Aleppo 2.0 for foreign-backed radical groups. The arrival of al-Julani to the frontline is a rare development showing the importance of the ongoing clashes. If militants fail to break the army defense in Aleppo and continue losing ground west and southwest of the city, government forces could develop advance along the M5 highway and reach Saraqib from the northern direction. In this case, Turkish observation posts will not help them to keep control of this town. The liberation of Saraqib will mark the total collapse of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s defense. The road on Idlib city will be opened.

On February 3, the Turkish Defense Ministry reported that at least 6 Turkish personnel were killed and 7 others were injured in a Syrian Army shelling in the Idlib zone. According to the defense ministry, Turkish forces responded with attacks on Syrian positions. President Erdogan said that between 30 and 35 Syrian soldiers were killed. Ankara calls the incident a ‘treacherous attack’, forgetting to note that it itself put own troops in a grave danger by using them as human shields to protect al-Qaeda.

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  • ©igare☘☘e👽Sm⚽️k🚬ng🦉Man️🎲

    FREEDOM FOR KURDISTAN !

    https://youtu.be/jM25ZDUvgHA?t=30

    • Luis

      Sure, a communist dream build with American money and weapons. What could go wrong? Besides, the curds themselves have different goals in different regions, look at the mess the Barzani’s clan has done in Iraq .

      • ©igare☘☘e👽Sm⚽️k🚬ng🦉Man️🎲

        Not communist, its a people’s dream. And its not just American money and weapons, its also Kurdish blood, loads of Kurdish blood.
        Clans can unite.
        Only solution for peace in the Kurdish lands is independent Kurdistan.

      • igybundy

        curds are communist only for other people’s land, for pay and dying, they are as capitalistic as that women in the pic who run to die for that fat kurdi and his swiss bank account..

  • Luke Hemmming

    America can just phuck off with it’s complaints. Until the US gets out of Syria it doesn’t have any justification to be complaining.

    • Saint Jimmy (Russian American)

      I’m American born and raised. US business and political leadership is now just about the most corrupt and immoral leadership in the world. NO US LEADER CAN BE TRUSTED.

      All foreign countries should keep US influence minimized when possible, if they value their culture, lifestyles, and independence. US elites care about thee things:

      1. Money,

      2. Money, and

      3. Money.

  • Hanny Benny

    turkey HAS TO GET SHATTERED 4 peace

  • Z.P.

    Since Kurds are massively supported by US & NATO.
    Assad should sell out Kurds totally .
    Kurds are perfect sacrificial lamb for working out peace in Syria !
    That kind of agreement would produce Turkey abandoning HTS (throwing them under the bus) and retreating from Syria completely if Assad would help massive exodus of Kurd population from Turk border and dispersing them all over Syria ,to lose territorial and cultural cohesion.
    That is something not very expensive for Assad and would be right reward for Kurd betrayal of Assad and Syria
    And Turks would love that.
    That would cement peace in Syria despite US & West.

  • AM Hants

    Neither nation has been invited to invade Syria. Well done the legal forces of Syria.

    Off topic, has anybody wondered how much the average US tax payer ends up funding nations, like say Ukraine?

    Did Judicial Watch ever provide the figures that So Ross gets back from the US tax payer, via USAID, which is very generous, where Ukraine, for one, is concerned.

    Here are some of the US tax payer funded gifts Ukraine receives. Thanks Stalker Zone, Ukraine – A Conveyor Belt of Neocon “AID” Embezzlement…

    ‘…sold the dog and paid the gas…’ Evgeny Bragar ‘Servants of the People’ (Presidents Party)…

    Proaid.gov.ua

    • Ronald
    • roland

      I don’t think it’s the us taxpayer funding these rackets where that money actually goes is anyone’s guess the cash the us government stumps up seems to be created then and there out of thin air like when the government says it is putting a trillion dollars into a space program the money was created specifically for that purpose.

      • AM Hants

        Printers and over $22 trillion national debt, that the media fail to report. Weren’t they due to announce $trillions lost by the Pentagon, just before 9/11, but, the horror changed the media headlines? Weird how the BBC reported Building 7, almost half an hour, before it happened.

  • cechas vodobenikov

    reports vary widely regarding casualties on both sides—Iran reports the death of 1 officer