Turkish forces in Syria shot down two Syrian warplanes and attacked an airport used by the Syrian regime on Sunday, while a Turkish drone strike struck a Syrian military convoy and purportedly killed 19 soldiers.
Turkey is calling it ‘Operation Spring Shield‘, and it is nothing less than a declaration of war against Syria which to so far has resulted in the killing and wounding of 2,557 Assad soldiers and militia. Erdogan is acting with impunity as Putin over in Russia is oddly silent. Putin placed two Russian warships with cruise missiles on the Syrian coast last week to defend against attacks like this, so why has it not called them into action?
Erdogan is demanding a summit with Putin to discuss this situation, and clearly appears at least for the moment, to be in the driver’s seat. Flush from his landmark win in Israel yesterday, I am sure that Prime Minister Netanyahu is watching Turkey very closely as Erdogan’s forces edge closer and closer to the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.
Turkey Launches All-Out Assault on Assad Warplanes, Airfield in Syria
FROM BREITBART NEWS: These actions were all portrayed as part of Turkey’s ongoing response to a February 27 Syrian/Russia airstrike that killed 33 Turkish soldiers. According to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Turkey’s retaliatory action – branded as “Operation Spring Shield” – has “neutralized” 2,557 “elements” of the Syrian regime over the past week, a tally that would seem to include deaths and injuries to both Syrian soldiers and militia forces allied with Damascus.
Turkey has destroyed a significant amount of Syrian military hardware in addition to the two planes it shot down on Sunday, said Akar, including “two drones, eight choppers, 135 tanks, five air defense systems, 86 cannons, howitzers and multiple rocket launchers, 16 anti-armors and mortars, 77 armed vehicles,” and “nine ammunition depots.”
Akar justified Turkey’s actions as self-defense under the United Nations Charter and several multilateral agreements govern the conflict in Syria, including the agreement reached in Sochi, Russia, in October between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Akar also claimed Turkey was taking action to protect Syrian civilians endangered by wanton Syrian and Russian bombing. One of Turkey’s primary complaints about the Russian-Syrian offensive against the last active rebel forces in Idlib province is that more Syrian civilians are fleeing from the carnage and seeking refuge in Turkey.
Turkish officials said the Syrian warplanes were downed on Sunday after they attacked Turkish drone aircraft. Turkish forces then attacked the Nayrab airport, located near the city of Aleppo, rendering it “unusable.” Another airport to the east of Nayrab was reportedly bombed.
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Turkish drones attacked a Syrian military convoy in the hotly contested Idlib province on Sunday several hours after the Syrian planes were shot down.
The Turkish defense ministry suggested the convoy was attacked because it included anti-aircraft weapons that were used against Turkey’s unmanned aerial vehicles. Syrian state media ran footage over the weekend that purportedly showed the Turkish drone going down in flames.
Turkey is proceeding as if Damascus has nothing meaningful to say about the conflict. All of Turkey’s high-level statements over the past week have addressed Russia, and Erdogan has suggested only another meeting with Putin could defuse escalating tensions over Idlib. The Kremlin confirmed on Sunday that an Erdogan-Putin summit is in the works, possibly as early as Thursday. READ MORE
Turkey launches its Operation Spring Shield in Idlib against Assad forces
Turkey’s Operation Spring Shield began with the killing of 34 Turkish soldiers by the Syrian regime on Friday in Idlib. Turkey has retaliated and targeted crucial regime facilities. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had given the regime time till 21G on Saturday for the regime to pull out of Idlib. But that did not happen. As a response Turkey has continued with its operations there to clear out regime forces. Since December, according to the UN, they’ve killed more than 300 people since then and caused nearly a million people to flee their homes. Shoaib Hassan has more.
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