— Levent Kemal (@leventkemaI) August 19, 2019
On August 19, a large Turkish military convoy (at least 28 pieces of military equipment including battle tanks) entered the territory of Syria from Turkey. The convoy entered the town of Saraqeb in eastern Idlib and moved towards the town of Khan Shaykhun in southern Idlib.
Khan Shaykhun is the key stronghold of radical militants (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies) in the area. After the recent gains by the Syrian Army, militants’ defense in the town appeared to be on the verge of collapse.
The Turkish miltiary is reportedly aiming to set up an ”observation post’ in Khan Shaykhun thus preventing the Syrian military from liberating the town from terrorists.
“Turkish vehicles loaded with ammunition, weapons and material equipment passed through the Syrian-Turkish borders on Monday morning and they entered Saraqeb City in their way to Khan Sheikhoun to help the defeated terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra [Hayat Tahrir al-Sham] which is on the lists of the Security Council as a terrorist organization, which affirms again the continued unlimited support provided by the Turkish regime to the terrorist groups.” Syria’s state-run news agency SANA quoted a source in the Syrian Foreign Ministry.
“The Syrian Arab Republic strongly condemns this flagrant Turkish violation and it holds the Turkish Regime fully responsible for the consequences of this stark violation of the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic which constitutes an outrageous breach of the international law’s provisions.”
The foreign ministry added that actiosn of “the Turkish regime will not in any way affect the determination of the Syrian Arab Army to continue to hunt down the remnants of terrorists in Khan Sheikhoun and other areas till liberating every inch of the Syrian territories from terrorism.”
Syria did not limit its response to releasing an official statement on the issue. Just recently, the Syrian Arab Air Force carried out warning strikes near the Turkish military convoy moving towards Khan Shaykhun. According to pro-militant sources, at least one militant field commander accompaining the convoy was killed.