Syrian War Report – June 17, 2019: Turkish Artillery Struck Syrian Army Positions Near Idlib

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Syrian War Report – June 17, 2019: Turkish Artillery Struck Syrian Army Positions Near Idlib

On June 16, Turkey said on that its forces had struck positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in response to an attack on one of its observation posts in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, the SAA shelled one of its posts near Murak in northern Hama. The defense ministry described the attack as “deliberate” and said that it had caused a material damage.

Syrian pro-government sources confirmed that the SAA positions near Tell Bazzam and al-Kabariyah were shelled by Turkish artillery. The sources claimed that the Turkish observation post near Murak was the source of the fire.

On June 14, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Turkish Armed Forces will strike the SAA in the even of attacks on Turkish observation posts in the Idlib zone. He also described the Russian-Syrian aerial campaign against militants’ infrastructure in Greater Idlib “inexcusable”.

On June 13, four Turkish soldiers were injured in a mortar attack on an observation post south of Idlib. Turkey blamed the SAA for the attack while Russia said that the post had been shelled by Idlib militants. The Russian side added that its warplanes had delivered airstrikes on four militants’ positions in the aftermath of the attack upon an official request from Ankara. Later, the Turkish Defense Ministry denied the Russian statement. The situation remains unclear.

Nonetheless, Turkey seems to be in a strong opposition to any counter-terrorism efforts in the Idlib zone. It event reinforced its observation posts in the area with additional troops and equipment.

On June 16, Jaysh al-Izza announced that its fighters had targeted a “Russian base” near the town of al-Kabariyah in northern Hama with rockets.

Military sources told SouthFront that some Russian advisors may be deployed near al-Kabariyah. However, there is no “Russian base” in the town or in its outskirt.

A delegation of the US-led coalition, accompanied by commanders of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), inspected the Tabqa airbase on June 15 as a part of ongoing preparations to deploy troops there, according to pro-opposition media outlets.

Reports speculated that the coalition wants to move its troops and helicopters from a base located in the al-Karin reserve to the Tabqah airport due to its larger space and better protection. This is how Trump-declared withdrawal of forces from Syria looks on the ground.

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  • gustavo

    All of this is just a consequence of that stupid Russia-Turkey agreement to create a safe havens zone for terrorists at idlib. What happened ? Syria-Hezbolah-Iran- Russia ground troops and Russia air support just was totally stuck, thanks to Russia.

    • Ishyrion Av

      That’s not true. Due to the existence of this agreement, Syrian Army was able to free the rest of the country and was able to move the insurgents from all over Syria to only one region. This is a real accomplishment for normal life in Syria, where people has to live even if there is a war somewhere.
      The next step, and everybody knows it, is to eradicate the black pest from Idlib region also, with or without Turkey’s agreement.
      This will come soon.

      • FlorianGeyer

        Well said.

        The concerted Russia Bashing by some here has always had a common narrative, and common narratives suggest an organiser is in control of those who peddle the narrative.

        The Russian,Iranian and Syrian strategy of allowing diehard US coalition backed terrorists to save their skins has prevented the complete destruction of parts of Syria and has also condensed the US coalition terror gangs into one area.

        This has allowed many tens of thousands of refugees within and without Syria to return home and restore their livelihoods.

        President Putin has said on more that one occasion very recently that the ‘Terrorist Nest in Idlib will be cleared’, and I believe him.

        • dutchnational

          In fact, as you correctly point out, SDF forces saved the skin of Assad and Rusdia, ar the cost of app. 35.000 killed a nd wounded. They deserve credit for their sacrifice, not scorn. Their victories allowed some 500k refugees to return. Kobane 150 to 200k, Manbij 50k+ Tabqah 100k+, Raqqah 200k. Just in the last two cities 200k children get their education. Allover Northern Syria, they now provide education to almost a million children, in three languages.

      • Icarus Tanović

        Well said sir.

      • Mustafa Mehmet

        how soon?

    • Low Voltage

      Does anyone know if Turkey could use the S400 to shoot down Russian planes?

      • gustavo

        I think that depends of NATO decision, but sure I have not doubt about it in case of a war NATO-Russia.

      • David Parker

        The Russians are not stupid.

        • vaderfater

          Are you sure? Gorbachev sold out USSR, Yeltsin sold out Russia.

      • Ishyrion Av

        They will try, of course. But the missile will automatically lock on the next F-22 in the area and will shut it down.

  • gustavo

    I don’t think Putin do not understand that Turkey (NATO member) is an INVADER in Syria !!! Only and stupid do not understand this.

    • Ishyrion Av

      He understands and he has a plan.

  • Xoli Xoli

    Putin who allowed Erdogan in Syria didn’t he told him about the risk.Or is it a complot against Syria government forces.

  • Xoli Xoli

    Russia is destroying Syrian from within. No wonder why this troops look so demoralized. Is Syrian forces fight seriously USANATO or Turkey bombs them.Or Israel and all this countries always informed Russia getting coordinates from From Russia.If Tigers and Hizbollah can start training Syrian forces then things will change on ground.

  • Xoli Xoli

    Russian S400 were supposed to protect sovereign Syrian forces not Turkey.

    • You can call me Al

      NO, Russian S-400 only there to protect Russian bases; that has been constantly stated.

      On a separate note, this could be a game changer.

    • David Parker

      Syria just got the S-300 air defense system and has been training on its use for about six months now. However, no matter what, Syria cannot afford to shoot those missiles at every drone and guided munition the Israelis keep shooting at them.
      Those high cost missiles are only to be used against the even more expensive IAF aircraft. The Pantsir missiles and machine guns are cost effective to use against munitions and the Syrians need more of them tied to their S-300 system.

  • David Parker

    Time to end the Turkish invasion of Syria. Erdogan is already responsible for killing Russian pilots operating in Syria, the shoot down of the Su-25 by Turkish F-16 missile and another Su-25 by MANPAD supplied to the terrorists by Erdogan.
    Time to send Erdogan to hell.
    Time for Assad to lease the Tabqa Airbase to Russia for 2 cents a day with a discount for early occupancy.

    • dutchnational

      Assad tried to give the Omar oil field to Wagner company, they just had to take it. It cost them several hundred mercs when they tried to take it in febr 2018. US had one wounded, who sprained a finger

      • David Parker

        Very interesting.
        Where can I find the details?

  • Loung Kodak

    USA is continuing to propagate confusion

  • Xanatos

    People saying Putin has a plan in idlib are smoking crack.

    Putin is far more interested in wooing turkey than helping Syria regain idlib. He’s given up idlib.

  • Icarus Tanović

    First one should ask a question who would profited from such an attack on illegal turkish observation post?
    I will just say that SAA wouldn’t.

  • Vitex

    So THAT’s what the OPs were for