Towards the end of the month is when many training courses complete, so it may have even been a graduation for fighters. Don’t do it! A ceasefire agreed by Russia and Turkey has gone into effect in Syria's northwestern Idlib region, activists and a monitoring group confirmed in the early hours of Friday. As Turkey’s closest proxy in Idlib province, this “wasn’t a Russian attack on the Syrian opposition as much as it was a direct hit against – and message to – Turkey”, Charles Lister, director of the US-based Middle East Institute, told Al Jazeera. More than half a million children displaced by the latest fighting are living in desperate conditions. Earlier this month, the Russian military revealed plans of terrorist groups to stage an attack intended to accuse the Syrian government forces and the Russian Aerospace Forces of striking settlements in the Idlib de-escalation zone. Turkey and Russia, which back opposing sides in Syria’s war, agreed on a ceasefire to stop escalating clashes in Idlib. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights states, Greek Minehunter Cut In Two In Collision With Cargo Ship, Award-Winning New York Times ‘Caliphate’ Podcast “Did Not Meet The Standards For Times Journalism”, US Army Will Introduce Combat Cloth Face Covering. In October 2020, as the media reported Russia’s Aerospace forces resuming their strikes against the local armed opposition, Turkey relocating its observation posts, and Syrian militants fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, the global community once again turned its attention to the events in Idlib. If any ceasefire is to last, Moscow and Ankara must first address the “gap between their respective positions”, Khalifa said, namely how to deal with some of the rebel groups in Idlib, including HTS. Idlib is the last rebel-held province in Syria. Ces frappes avaient pour but de soutenir l'armée syrienne contre un assaut terroriste. Though both countries are also waging proxy battles, it is rare to see them come head-to-head. Of those displaced in the offensive, more than 200,000 have returned home to their towns and villages, most since the ceasefire went into force. Photo by Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS. The security corridor in Syria's Idlib province was agreed upon in the Russian-Turkish ceasefire deal last week. Russia has often used the presence of Tahrir al-Sham to attack Idlib. But it excludes Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a former al-Qaeda affiliate that currently controls large swaths of the province. On Tuesday, a day after the attack, Syrian opposition fighters fired hundreds of missiles and artillery shells at government posts in northwest Syria. Russia and Turkey face each other on opposing sides over several fronts across Eurasia, from Libya to Syria, and now Azerbaijan, too. By Nathan Morley According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a wide network of sources inside Syria, Turkish forces left the Surman base in the eastern countryside near Idlib as well as the bases of Khan Tuman and Rashideen near … Russia and Turkey are two sides of the same coin. Russian air strikes killed dozens of fighters from a Turkey-backed rebel group in northwest Syria on Monday, as Turkish officials fear the government, backed by Russia, is preparing to overrun Idlib. The March 5 agreement will likely follow the fate of all previous Idlib deals and fall apart soon. US to earmark $1.9bn to replace Huawei, ZTE telecoms gear: Report, New COVID strain in the UK: What we know in 500 words, China aircraft carrier sails through Taiwan Strait raising alarm, Japan sets record military budget with stealth fighters, missiles, Australia cancels order for vaccine as trial stumbles, Al Jazeera Centre for Public Liberties & Human Rights. By Jacob Brahms Read In: Türkçe. Share. The bombing of civilians and infrastructure in the Syrian opposition-held province of Idlib by Russia and the Syrian regime may amount to a war crime, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said in … Pin. Matters have gone from bad to worse in Idlib and the stakes for Moscow and Ankara are rising. But a deadly Russian air strike that took out dozens of Turkish-backed rebel fighters in northwest Syria on Monday has marked a significant escalation. Previous attacks by Russia in the area were intended to push opposition fighters away from the key M4 highway in northern Syria, where Turkish and Russian forces often conducted joint patrols as part of the truce agreement. Biden’s Defense Policies – What Can We Expect? Meanwhile, Idiz said Turkey may want to “take it out” on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces allied with Russia. A second strike was also reported, although it is unknown what was targeted, it is easily assumed to be the headquarters building itself, likely attempting to target leadership who may have been inside while the initial strikes happened. The deal was signed in Moscow on Thursday by Russian … Russian warplanes on Sunday struck the rebel-held city of Idlib in northwestern Syria and surrounding areas with approximately 30 strikes on Sunday, the heaviest bombardment since a Turkish-Russian ceasefire deal nearly six months ago. Turkish forces have started pulling out from three military bases in the countryside of Idlib and Aleppo provinces in northern Syria. But the truce in Idlib, a war-battered province that is home to more than three million people, has remained fragile with intermittent bombardment in the area from both sides. How long will the Turkish-Russian deal on Idlib last? But in Syria, although they support opposite sides in the country’s nine-year conflict, Moscow and Ankara have worked together to maintain a ceasefire in the last rebel-held enclave in the northwest. In October 2020, as the media reported Russia’s aerospace forces resuming their strikes against the local armed opposition, Turkey relocating its observation posts and Syrian militants fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, the global community once again turned its attention to the events in Idlib. Turkey has continually reinforced its own military positions in Idlib province prompting many to suspect that Turkey will ultimately attack the Syrian Army. But Turkey has not done away with the armed group either because it cannot, or does not want to, Idiz said. Tens of Thousands Flee Russian-led Onslaught on Syria's Idlib ; As the militants withdrew, government troops moved into northern and western neighborhoods of Khan Sheikhoun, marking a significant gain for Assad’s forces as they try to chip away at territory controlled by the opposition in Idlib. The cave in the city of Khan Sheikhoun in southern Idlib countryside was used by the ‘Izzat Army’ as their headquarters, ‘Izzat Army’ is one of the thousands of the Free Syrian Army umbrella of terrorist groups. opinion Leonid Bershidsky The Putin-Erdogan Deal Poses a … The Putin-Erdogan meeting also led to the establishment of joint patrols between the Turkish and Russian forces along the M-4 Highway; however, they have since been suspended due to security … “The deal, like its predecessors, is inherently flawed as it is built around the premise that Turkey would go after some of the strongest rebel formations in the area,” she said. Earlier, 31 cases of shelling across the Idlib de-escalation zone were confirmed by the Russian military. Russia, Syria, and Iran are killing, or on their way to killing, thousands of innocent civilians in Idlib Province. This possibly stems from the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, but it also could be frustration over lack of action to remove extremists from areas south of the M4 highway which has annoyed Russia. Lister said a significant escalation at this time is doubtful but noted it is difficult to expect that Ankara will “let this slide altogether”. Smoke rises after Syrian government forces bombarded the village of al-Bara, in the southern part of the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib [Omar Haj Kadour/AFP]Dareen Khalifa, a senior Syria analyst at the International Crisis Group, agreed, noting the need to target certain rebel groups is a justification Moscow will continue to use. In recent months, however, joint patrols have come to a halt, making an escalation more plausible. Observers say the attack in the Jabal al-Dweila area, which targeted a military training camp for Failaq al-Sham, one of the largest Turkey-backed armed groups in the area, was a “message” to Ankara. Russia is helping Syria to launch a new offensive aimed at ridding Idlib province of its last remaining rebels opposed to the Syrian President Assad regime. Le 20 février, la Russie a annoncé avoir mené des frappes aériennes dans la province d'Idleb, en Syrie. Turkey threatens ‘heavy’ retaliation if Idlib ceasefire is broken, Syria war: Idlib residents struggle with daily life. syrian regime, m4, buffer zone, turkish influence in syria, turkish intervention in syria, joint patrols, idlib, withdrawal Oct 22, 2020 Turkey has begun withdrawing from military observation posts in regime-held enclaves in Idlib, the last rebel stronghold in Syria, but the move looks more like an omen of war for the region than a sign of reconciliation and retreat. Given the “enormity” of the attack, which killed at least 35 fighters and wounded more than 50, Lister said it is possible that wider geopolitics may have pushed Russia to strike. Russian strike on Syria’s Idlib fighters a ‘message’ to Turkey. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend a news conference following their talks in Sochi, Russia, Oct. 22, 2019. Other experts including Turkish columnist Semih Idiz agree the timing of the Russian air strike is “significant” at a time when Ankara is “flexing its muscles” in the Middle East and the Caucasus. Idlib is the last significant rebel-held area in Syria, and since December has come under a renewed offensive by regime troops supported by their Russian and Iranian allies. Russian warplanes also wounded 90 more when they targeted a training camp of the Faylaq al-Sham faction in the Jabal Duwayli area in Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The airstrikes appear to have occurred while the militants were on the parade ground, potentially while they were filming an announcement or promotional video. Greece: Activists, journalists decry crackdown on protests, Jupiter, Saturn merging in night sky, closest in centuries. Russian Air Force Strikes Rebel Headquarters in Idlib, Syria. When the first major Idlib deal was signed by Russia and Turkey in 2017, a main condition set forth by Moscow was that Ankara must dissolve HTS. A ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey has come into effect in the northwest Syrian province of Idlib. Earlier this year, they brokered a truce in Idlib to halt a government offensive that displaced nearly one million people, in one of the worst humanitarian crises of Syria’s nine-year war. All Rights Reserved. It is unlikely though, that Ankara will choose to personally retaliate over Monday’s deadly strike. The Russian Air Force has carried out at least two airstrikes against a headquarters for Faylaq ash-Sham in the town of Duwaylah, Idlib governorate. Many of the displaced have amassed in already overcrowded camps near the border with Turkey, and have limited access to basic supplies, including clean running water. Tweet. Experts say Moscow is hitting Syria's Idlib … A strike on them is a direct message to Turkey, and while the various militant factions in Idlib will respond heavily to this attack, this is one of their deadliest attacks in years. Faylaq ash-Sham is known as one of Turkey’s most loyal groups in Syria, and receives both weapons, vehicles, and payment from Turkey itself. “This kind of escalation is consistent with Moscow’s approach towards the ceasefires that have been governing Idlib,” Khalifa told Al Jazeera. But Idiz said other reasons may have led to the strike, such as Ankara’s inability to solve the issue of groups in Idlib that Moscow perceives as “radical”. October 27, 2020. Russia and Syria have accused Turkey of backing “terrorists”. Russia and Turkey agree ceasefire deal for Syria's Idlib in conflict over country's last rebel stronghold . But as long as Idlib’s future is “hinging on Russian-Turkish regional calculations”, the areas in northwestern Syria will continue to be used as “bargaining chips”, Khalifa warned. Turkey had sent thousands of troops into Syria to halt a Syrian offensive aimed at retaking territory in Idlib province. The Russian Air Force has carried out at least two airstrikes against a headquarters for Faylaq ash-Sham in the town of Duwaylah, Idlib governorate. They remain at loggerheads, supporting opposing sides with both hoping to expand their military presence and political reach in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. They only “give the impression of cooperation between Turkey and Russia”. Though Russia – a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – and Turkey negotiated a fragile ceasefire in Idlib, which largely held since March this year, the latest escalation points to signs of strain over Turkey’s involvement in various battles. En quelques heures, le front syrien d’Idlib, où sont engagées la Russie et la Turquie dans le nord-ouest de la Syrie, est redevenu incandescent. Syria, Russia, Turkey, Idlib, airstrikes, tension, Mevlut Cavusoglu. Syria and Russia have said the offensive in Idlib was a response to repeated attacks on their forces by anti-government armed groups and an effort to counter “terrorism”. It is important to consider possible development scenarios in the light of both […] “Halting these patrols is a clear indication that the ceasefire agreement … is gradually being eroded, leaving only the military option on the table again,” he said. Turkey is working hard to stop this carnage. And in Libya, thousands of Syrian fighters have been reportedly sent by Turkey over the past year to fight on behalf of the United Nations-recognised Government of National Accord in Tripoli, which is fighting Russian-backed forces. Russian forces engineers operating in Syria blew up a cave formerly used as a command center by the ‘Izzat Army’, a NATO-sponsored terrorist group, in the province of Idlib. Syrians take part in the funeral of 10 fighters with the Turkey-backed Faylaq al-Sham rebel faction in Syria, in Idlib, on October 26, 2020, following their death in a Russian air strike. The total casualties are uncertain and will likely be unknown for some time, because of the nature and effect of the strike, but as it stands at least 160 men have been killed or wounded, with at least 70 of those men confirmed dead, though some state the dead number has high as 100. The Turkish-backed National Liberation Front alliance includes 11 Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions all supported by Ankara. Russian air strikes in northern Syria have killed more than 50 Turkish-backed militia fighters in the mainly rebel-held province of Idlib, reports say. The patrols achieved little in practical terms, according to Idiz. Now they have been pushed back,' says Idlib-based journalist. 0 Shares. By Jacob Brahms in Air Force, Daily News, News, Russia, Syria, Turkey October 27, 2020. Copyright © 2020 Overt Defense. Local sources told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that nine Russian planes … “If one of those hits a sensitive pro-regime target, or if such attacks sustain themselves, we could easily see a tit-for-tat become an uncontrollable spiral back into hostilities,” Lister said. Will Russia, Turkey go to war over Syria's Idlib? A renewed, full-fledged offensive would be catastrophic for the province’s battle-weary residents, now facing a devastating coronavirus crisis and the onset of another winter. “This latest strike is Russia’s way of saying that time is running out – or has run out,” he said, referring to the conditions set in a deal agreed on by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a summit earlier this year. The initial strike struck the formation directly, meaning that the tightly-packed men likely suffered instant death or gruesome injury. Tags: AIrstrikes, Faylaq ash-Sham, idlib, russia, Russian Air Force, syria, Turkey. The attack on Faylaq ash-Sham is very important and signifies growing dissatisfaction with Turkey by Russia. They are both heavily involved in some of the world’s most significant ongoing conflicts including in Libya, the Caucasus and Syria. The strikes, now rare, are now one of the largest mass-casualty events against a militant group in years. In 2018, Russia and Turkey agreed a ceasefire and de-escalation zones in Idlib - but that deal has often been violated. Most notably, in the Caucasus, where Ankara has declared support for Azerbaijan in its fight against Armenia in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Majority for NATO Option in Swedish Parliament. In mid-July, as fighting was raging on in southern Idlib and northern Hama provinces in Syria’s northwest, Reuters reported that Russia has deployed its special forces in the area. Mourners attend a funeral of Turkish-backed rebels killed in an air strike in Idlib [AP Photo]Moscow, traditionally closer to Armenia, has voiced dismay at reports indicating Syrian mercenaries have been sent to fight alongside Azerbaijani forces – opening up a new front in the proxy standoff. Latest escalation comes amid increased Turkish military involvement in a region stretching from Syria to the Caucasus and the Mediterranean. Which countries have banned UK travel over COVID concerns? MOBILE VIEW. Others say Russia had been using the same rhetoric before the clashes earlier this year, reiterating that the Syrian government doesn’t have any reason to conduct operations in Idlib. The Syrian Arab Army previously halted their offensive in March 2020 after a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Moscow. Syria crisis: Russia and Turkey tensions mount after military operation in Idlib 'In the past the regime was very close to the city Idlib. “The Armenian-Azeri dispute is a particularly sensitive issue because it is happening in what Moscow believes is its backyard and sphere of influence,” Idiz told Al Jazeera. in Air Force, Daily News, News, Russia, Syria, Turkey The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights states that a batch of fighters was destined to graduate within a few days, so it is likely that these were all prospective fighters. A recent cease-fire deal brokered by Russia and Turkey in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib seems to be largely holding.