“The consequences, as during the attacks of Pro-Turkish militants in Hamim, the Russian foreign Ministry was engaged in the transfer of the Kuril Islands to Japan, instead of jabbering on violating the agreements Turkey.”
Ankara may consider an attack on a convoy in Idlib violation of agreements with Russia
The newspaper “Kommersant” №148 from 20.08.2019, p. 6
Syrian air force attacked the Turkish armed escort after Damascus suspected Ankara of assisting the militants in Khan Sheyhun — one of the key settlements in the area of de-escalation of Idlib.
On the eve of the Syrian troops took up positions on the outskirts of the city, but their enemy had received unexpected reinforcement. Ankara denies accusations Damascus, in turn describing the attack on the convoy as a violation of the Russian-Turkish agreements in Idlib.
On 19 August Syrian air force attacked a Turkish military convoy, which was on the South area of de-escalation of Idlib.
Ankara claims: sending a convoy to the Turkish observation post No. 9 in the area of de-escalation Idlib “for security, maintaining supply lines and prevent the death of civilians” was coordinated with Russia. On the Turkish side, the attack killed three Syrian civilians and another 12 were injured.
Initially, the Qatari channel “al Jazeera”, citing its sources at the scene claimed that the dead members of the group of the armed opposition, which accompanied the convoy. Then the text on the website of the TV channel was replaced by the official Turkish version. According to “al-Jazeera”, the column consisted of about forty vehicles, including tanks and dozens of military.
The attack occurred at the moment when the convoy was moving from the North to the South of the zone de-escalation of Idlib, from the town of Maaret Naaman in Khan Shaykhun. Settlements are located at a distance of 25 km from each other, on the strategic M5 highway connecting Damascus and Aleppo.
Observation point No. 9 is less than 9 km to the South of Khan shaykhun on the same track.
“Turkey expects the Russian side to take measures to prevent the recurrence of similar situations in the future”,— stated in the message of the Turkish Ministry of defense, quoted by the Anadolu news Agency. The Ministry said that the attack on the convoy contrary “to the agreements and the spirit of cooperation with Russia.”
The prisoner between Moscow and Ankara in September last year the agreement on stabilization of the situation in Idlib.
Then it was agreed the work of the Turkish observation posts and joint monitoring of the situation. Russia promised to maintain the status quo in the area of de-escalation under certain conditions, but most of them were not implemented.
In Moscow emphasize that since September, the balance of forces in Idlib has changed and most of the territory took control of the terrorist group “Hayat Tahrir al-sham” (HTS, the former “dzhebhat an-Nusra” — both banned in Russia).
We will remind, after the announced in early August, Damascus unilateral “silence regime” in Idlib were thwarted by the Syrian army with the support of the allies launched an offensive into the zone of de-escalation of Idlib. In the night of Monday the Pro-government forces withdrew to the outskirts of Khan shaykhun, which is called the stronghold HTS.
According to Damascus, the Turkish column was to help the “terrorists in Khan Sheyhun”.
Syrian official news Agency SANA, citing a source in the foreign Ministry stressed that “Turkey’s actions again demonstrate ongoing unlimited support for the Turkish regime to terrorist groups”.
In Damascus considering the direction of Turkey military convoy with weapons and ammunition as an “encroachment on its national sovereignty.”
For its part, the Syrian armed opposition admits that the Turkish convoy was coming to her aid, but was forced to stop on the outskirts to the North of Khan shaykhun, including due to the actions of “Pro-Russian forces.” So far Turkey has not taken any action to stop the advance of the Syrian army deep into Idlib, while concentrating their forces near the Syrian border.
Last weekend, troops of the Syrian national army (SNA, opposition structure, which teaches Turkey) unexpectedly came to the aid of the armed moderate opposition groups in Idlib, United in the national liberation Front.
“We sent on Monday, the third shipment of heavy weapons and elite forces commando. Our camps are on the front lines,” said the opposition newspaper of Panama Call the chief of staff of one of the divisions of SLEEP.
According to him, the operation of the transfer of power was in fact all last week. Power SLEEP concentrated around Khan shaykhun. According to Arab media reports emerged that Turkey might create in this area of your base to prevent the capture of the city by Syrian forces. Respondents ‘ b ‘ experts are surprised at the fact that Turkey for so long did not respond to a military operation in Idlib.
“The impression was that Moscow and Ankara have agreed. But transfer powers of SLEEP in Idlib evidence to the contrary”,— said the expert of the Russian Council on international Affairs Kirill Semenov. He drew attention to the fact that from 2016 until may of this year, SLEEP was not involved in the fighting with Pro-government forces.
As explained “Kommersant” researcher, Center for middle Eastern strategic studies (ORSAM) in Ankara, Oytun Orhan, the main goal of Turkish troops in Khan Sheyhun to prevent the encirclement of the Turkish observation posts of the Syrian army.
“The Turks are trying to convince the Russian military influence on Damascus to stop the attack, he said.— And if that fails, Turkey can claim a violation of the Sochi agreement, which occurred due to the fault of Moscow”.
At the same time, the expert stressed that Russia, too, has reason to be dissatisfied with Turkey, as Ankara was not able to withdraw from Idlib, troops HTS.
By Monday evening in Moscow did not directly respond to the accusations of Ankara in violation of the Sochi agreements, stressing only that I fully support the actions of the Syrian army.
“There were several attempts of attacks of our air force base on Mamimi from Iglinskiy zone”,— said the President of Russia Vladimir Putin to journalists in Paris before maculopapular with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.
He added: “we Therefore support the efforts of the Syrian army to conduct local operations for the relief of these terrorist threats.”
Marianna Belenkaya, Kirill Krivosheev