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MAJOR: Turkish Forces Attack Russian Positions In Idlib

By Joaquin Flores

Late on March 3rd were confirmed attacks by the Turkish army in the area where the Russian military was located in the city of Sarakib in the east of Idlib province. The Russian Ministry of Defense has not spoken to this, although on Wednesday morning its official representative, Major General Igor Konashenkov, announced the merger of the Turkish “observation posts” in the Idlib de-escalation zone with the terrorist groups operating here .

In the wee early hours of March 4th, these attacks continued on as Turkish artillery launched a further series of attacks on Sarakib, where Russian military police units were deployed on March 2nd. According to Syrian sources, Ankara warned Moscow about the strikes, however, shelling was launched even before the military police of the Russian Federation were able to leave the city.

If the data on the strikes at the locations of the Russian military are confirmed, this will be an unambiguously destructive step by the Turkish military-political leadership a day before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Moscow on March 5 and his talks with Vladimir Putin .

The most intense battles over the past day were on the eastern section of the Idlib front, especially in the Sarakib area, where the Turkish military, together with the militants of the Islamist alliance “Khayyat Tahrir al-Sham” (HTS, the leading role in its composition is the banned terrorist group “Jebhat” in Russia Fatah al-Sham “, the former” Jebhat al-Nusra “) and the” National Liberation Front “(NFO) are trying to regain control of the city. On March 2, government forces recaptured the western suburbs of Sarakib – Jubas and Trumba. Attempts to attack the nearby village of Neyrab, where the Turkish-Islamic group is concentrating its forces on this section of the Idlib front, were unsuccessful. 

Near Neurab, the Syrian army met fierce resistance from Turkish special forces; Turkish howitzers and drones were fired on the Trumb region and all the surrounding areas of Sarakib. Syrian armored vehicles on the M-5 highway (Aleppo – Damascus) came under these strikes. It is possible that in the next 48 hours, before the start of negotiations between Putin and Erdogan, the Turkish command will try to carry out an offensive operation on Sarakib.