(Russian?) Warplanes Drop Bombs Next to Turkish Column in Syria, Force It to Halt Advance

Turkey tried sending troops to get in the way of renewed Syrian offensive against the southern tip of Idlib pocket. Didn't work.

Most of the 7,000-strong Turkish force in al-Qaeda-held northwestern Syria is concentrated just to the east of Idlib city to block the advance of the Syrian army toward the biggest city (and only provincial capital) still in rebel hands.

Yesterday Turkey attempted to change that and dispatched a force southward, to try to establish a bigger presence in the southern part of the Idlib pocket, where the Syrians had just started the second phase of their offensive (and already took a couple of villages).

However, as the Turkish column was underway it came under attack — according to SOHR by “regime artillery fire”. Except that in the video of the incident you can clearly hear jets:

Yeah, some of those explosions are much too large for a shell. That’s because it wasn’t only an artillery strike, it was also an airstrike, most likely by the Russians.

It seems what happened was that Russian warplanes dropped bombes — not on top of the Turkish column, but in close proximity to it — as a warning and the Turks got the message.

Depending on which reports you believe the Turkish column then either turned back north, or started setting up another “observation post” in the village where it was struck.

However al-Bara is far from the fighting at the southern tip of the Idlib enclave, and only a short way from the M4 highway. If the Turks stay there they will be irrelevant to the fighting. It is unlikely this was their original destination when they set on the road.

The Russian state-owned TASS news agency issued a very unconvincing, and completely unofficial, denial that Russia had anything to do with halting the Turkish march:

MOSCOW, February 23. /TASS/. A Russian military source has rejected the reports appearing on some Telegram channels that the Russian Aerospace Force’s aircraft barred a Turkish military convoy from entering Al-Bara in the Syrian region of Idlib.

“It is fake news,” the source said.

Yeah, a one-liner from an anonymous source, you’re going to have to do better than that.

Both, that bombs merely landed near them, and that Turks halted their march rather than pulled out their MANPADs, are both circumstances that make it more likely the warplanes were Russian rather than Syrian.

But there was indeed also artillery fire (according to rebel reports with some Turkish WIA) likely by the Syrians in conjunction to the airstrikes:

It should be said Russia has warned Turkey before that only its original 12 observation points are covered by the Sochi Agreement but not its 7000-strong contingent dispatched this month.

Meanwhile, the Turkish death toll from Erdogan’s adventure in Idlib to protect al-Qaeda’s jihadistan from the Syrian government rose to 16 as another Turkish tank crewman was killed, according to one Turkish claim it was by a Syrian tank shell.

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cechas vodobenikov
cechas vodobenikov
2 months ago

Syrians and Russian have long history of collaboration—it was the USSR that helped Syria thwart the amerikan/turkish attempt at regime change in 1957…turks like amerikans play the geo-politcal game like children…throwing tantrums when they do not achieve their objectives to sow chaos

ke4ram
ke4ram
2 months ago

This is really stupid. Turkey pissed because Syria and likely Russia is fighting its invasion of Syria. Does anyone think they and we could find better uses for money then killing each other?

itchyvet
itchyvet
2 months ago
Reply to  ke4ram

You miss the point, the Turkes have had a taste of the income from Syrian oil, thus intend to take over the border territories which just happen to include the richest oil producing areas. The EXCUSE is to keep them pesky Kurds away from the Turkish border and stop their infiltration into Syria. Luckily, the World is wise to what’s going on, and does not shed a tear for Turkish victims of Erdogan’s greed.

cechas vodobenikov
cechas vodobenikov
1 month ago
Reply to  itchyvet

I believe u miss the point—the turk motivation is largely geopolitical in Syria (their real benefit regarding destabilization of Syria pertains to the billions of euros received from the EU to contain Syrian refugees)…the Syrians have very little oil…a better argument could be made regarding Libya as to Turkish motivations and oil

Vic Pittman
Vic Pittman
2 months ago

Good job Russia ! Next time drop those bombs on the Turkish terrorists !

itchyvet
itchyvet
2 months ago

IMHO, the whole convoy should have been taken out, just like the Yanks took out the Iraqi’s when they were in retreat. Except this time around, the TURKS are ILLEGALLY INVADING Syria, therefore a legitimate target.

Canosin
Canosin
2 months ago

send the Turkish goatf*ckers back from where they came from……and wipe out the terrorist enclave once and for all……viva Rossiya

ArcAngel
ArcAngel
1 month ago

Really DO NOT care what the brain dead vile SOHR or braindead ‘Twits” have to spew, especially anything that calls itself “combatchris”
“Regime forces”… RUFKM… how can anyone trust such putrid idiocy.

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