Russian-Turkish Escalation, Blasts in Assad Control Areas

معارك إدلب

“Whenever bulls fight, it’s the grass that gets hurt!” This is a well-known Arabic saying. In Syria, dozens of people die on a daily basis; most of them are civilians, where children loose all hopes of a future against a backdrop of the escalating tensions between Russia and Turkey in the Syrian north.

As Turkey insists on recapturing all the swathes taken by Russian-backed Assad forces, Russia hits intensively all the areas of the armed opposition factions backed by Turkey. Between the front lines, hundreds of civilians were killed, dozens lost their limbs and schools were closed, which heralds a bleak future for children born during the war, children who did not know any other kind of life, where many of them may have died before hearing the sound of nature not distorted with the sound of war.

Russia accuses Turkey – its current opponent and former partner in Syria – of financing terrorist groups in Syria, which Ankara denies, and through which Moscow seeks to present itself as the ideal ally of the international alliance for eliminating terrorism.

On Wednesday, Feb. 26, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that Russia confirms reports of UN Security Council’s experts, stating that militants sent to Libya with the support of Turkey.

“The UN draft resolution on Libya did not mention terrorists and foreign fighters, although some experts of its Security Council have regularly reported the arrival of terrorists to Libya, we also notice this by the help of Turkey “Bogdanov said. Turkey works to evacuate its fighters from the north of Syria, which in consequence created gaps and weak points on the front lines, and therefore enabled Assad regime forces and their Russian supporters to push into the opposition’s last stronghold in Syria for the first time since 2012.

Turkish President Recep Teyyip Erdogan resumed releasing more statements on the Syrian situation, expressing his insistence to restore all the areas taken recently by Assad and Russia, and warning their forces to withdraw before the end of the current month as a deadline, without specifying the consequences in case they don’t do what he demands.

“The biggest obstacle our country faces in Idlib is being unable to use the airspace; an obstacle that we will overcome soon”, Erdogan said in a speech given in front of the parliamentary bloc of his party AKP.

“Our demand in Idlib is the withdrawal of Assad regime forces beyond the Turkish observation posts, and allowing displaced people to return safely to their homes,” he added.

“We have no ambitions, neither in Syrian territory nor in Syrian oil, what we seek is bringing peace and security to Syrians in their homeland,” Erdogan stressed.

“Turkey will liberate the besieged observation posts in Idlib by the end of February,” he repeatedly said.

Lately on Thursday, 37 Turkish soldiers have been killed and dozens injured on Thursday due to air strikes carried out by the Assad regime against a Turkish military post in Idlib. These air strikes follow a significant advance of the Turkey-backed Syrian opposition factions on the front lines of Idlib’s countryside.

In a different context, official Syrian security sources reported that an explosive device, planted in a car by terrorists, exploded on Wednesday Feb.26, in the city of Qatana, Damascus countryside, injuring one person.

The State news agency SANA quoted a police command as saying that the device exploded in a car on Wednesday morning in the town of Qatana, southwest of Damascus, and injured its driver.

On Tuesday, one person was killed and two others were seriously injured by the explosions of two bomb cars near Tishreen Stadium in Baramkeh, and at the entrance to the Umayyad Tunnel in Damascus.

On Wednesday, the Syrian Ministry of Electricity said that a landmine exploded in a vehicle belonging to Al-Hasakeh Electricity Company in northeast Syria, injuring several workers.

The General Electricity Company of Al-Hasakeh pointed out that the vehicle was accompanied by Russian military police, carrying the company’s employees who were in a mission to repair a power line in the town of Abu Rasin. The vehicle was completely damaged, while the injuries of the employees were minor and they were transferred to receive treatment.

All publishing rights and copyrights reserved to MENA Research and Study Center