UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Russia cannot guarantee the safety of Turkish aviation in Syria after closing the skies over Idlib, said Oleg Zhuravlev, head of the Center for the Reconciliation of the warring parties.
Rear Admiral recalled that the Syrian authorities were forced to take such a step against the backdrop of a sharply aggravated situation in the airspace over the province.
– Aggravation in Idlib –
In late January, the Syrian army launched an offensive in the province against terrorists.
A few days later, Turkish authorities reported losses among military personnel due to the actions of Damascus.
In addition, Ankara reported a retaliatory strike against government forces and numerous losses in the Syrian army. Subsequently, the Russian Center for Reconciliation denied this information.
In mid-February, militants, supported by Turkish artillery, tried to break through the positions of government forces in Idlib. The attack was repelled with the help of the Russian Su-24, which took to the sky at the request of Damascus.
Moscow expressed concern over Ankara’s support for the militants. In addition, President Vladimir Putin first held trilateral talks with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and then with Turkish leader Recep Erdogan, who called the implementation of the Sochi agreement the main condition for a settlement in Idlib.
In turn, Putin expressed concern over the intensification of extremists in the province. The head of state also noted the need for unconditional respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.
Already on February 27, militants from the Khayyat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group attempted to break through the positions of government forces in the area of Behun. As a result of the retaliatory air attack, 33 Turkish soldiers were killed, which, according to Ankara, should not have been in this area. The Russian side took measures for a complete ceasefire on the Syrian side and ensured the evacuation of the dead and wounded.
Following this, the Turkish authorities announced the beginning of ground and air attacks on the positions of the Syrian army. Ankara considered the incident an “attack” on NATO and requested consultations at the level of ambassadors of the member countries of the alliance.
As the State Department noted, the United States supports Turkey as its ally in the military-political bloc.
On the eve of Putin and Erdogan held telephone conversations, during which the Turkish leader asked to leave Damascus “one on one” with Ankara. Today, spokesman for the Russian leader Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the words of the Turkish president, recalled that Russia is the only country whose troops are legally in the Arab Republic. A Kremlin spokesman also said the Russian military will continue to fight terrorists.
The Syrian government was forced to close airspace over Idlib. Damascus was warned that any aircraft seen in the area would be perceived as hostile and shot down.
A source in RIA said that the Syrian army had already destroyed six Turkish drones, striking at positions of government troops.
In turn, today, Turkish fighters shot down two Syrian military aircraft, which attacked the terrorists.
Russia and Syria have repeatedly stressed that the cause of instability in the region is the actions of terrorists. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that Turkey was unable to fulfill several key commitments to solve the problems around Syrian Idlib.
In particular, she did not dissociate the armed opposition, which is ready for dialogue with the government in the framework of the political process, from terrorists.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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