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Utopia Talk / Politics / Idlib
Mon Feb 03 12:29:30
Turkey says it will act against Syrian government if Russia cannot control them

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will not hesitate to act against Syrian forces if Russia is unable to control them, Turkey’s communication director said on Monday, after Ankara said Syrian shelling killed five of its soldiers in the northwestern Idlib region.

President Tayyip Erdogan said earlier on Monday that Turkey will continue to retaliate, adding that Ankara had told Russia to “stand aside” in the conflict. Ankara backs rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whereas Moscow supports Assad’s forces.

“The Assad regime’s attack on our forces is the latest example of its cowardly actions in northern Syria,” Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter. “If Russia is unable to control the Assad regime from targeting us, we will not hesitate to take actions against any threat, just as we did today in Idlib,” he added.


Excuse me but what is Turkey doing in Syria? Syria has the right to kill turkish soldiers who has invaded Syria. Turkey should quit whining and go home.
Mon Feb 03 12:43:11
Is this show still going on? I thought it ended, like, three seasons ago after they wrapped up that whole ISIS plot.
Mon Feb 03 13:30:20
Already hit back


Turkey will continue to retaliate against attacks on its forces in Syria’s northwest Idlib region, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 3, after six Turkish soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded in Syrian government shelling.

“Turkey has responded in kind to the attack in Idlib, and will continue to do so,” Erdoğan told reporters before departing for Ukraine.

The president said Turkish artillery hit some 46 targets in Syria.

Erdoğan stated Turkish warplanes were also involved and claimed that there were between 30 and 35 casualties on the Syrian side.

“Those who test Turkey’s determination with such vile attacks will understand their mistake,” Erdoğan said. He noted Russia was told that Ankara would not stand for any “situation where we are prevented” from responding to Syrian assaults.

“We can’t remain silent when our soldiers are being martyred,” he said.

The president said Turkey had told Russian counterparts “they need to stand aside” in the escalating conflict, in which Ankara and Moscow are back opposing sides.

Syrian regime’s forces, backed by Russian airpower, have recently made advances in Idlib.

Erdoğan said on Jan. 31 that Turkey may launch a military operation there unless the fighting is halted.

The exchange between Ankara and Damascus came hours after a large Turkish military convoy entered the northwestern province of Idlib. Turkey has reinforced Idlib, which lies just across its southern border with Syria, in a challenge to Damascus and its Russian backers.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry said the Turkish forces were sent to Idlib as reinforcement and were attacked there despite prior notification of their coordinates to the local authorities. It said Turkish forces responded to the attack, destroying targets.

Initially, four Turkish soldiers died at the scene while two others died later in hospital.

The exchange occurred near the Syrian flashpoint town of Saraqeb, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Turkish military units came under fire overnight after moving within Idlib without notifying Russia, contradicting Ankara’s claim that it coordinated movements.

Defense chief heading to Syria border

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar visited the Syria border in the wake of a regime attack on Turkish troops in Idlib.

Hulusi Akar had been scheduled to accompany Erdoğan during his official visit to Ukraine. He abandoned the delegation due to the attack on Turkish troops.

Akar departed from Ankara to visit the Turkish-Syrian border.

Syrian forces now 'targets' around Idlib posts

In the meantime, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik said Turkey will view Syrian regime forces as "targets" around Turkish observation posts in Idlib.

"The [Syrian] regime is from now on a target for us in the region after this attack," Çelik said.

"We expect Russia not to shield the regime or protect them because after the clear attack on our armed forces, regime forces around our posts are targets," he added.

Turkey condemns regime attack

Meanwhile, Turkey's presidential spokesman condemned the attack on Turkish soldiers in Idlib.

"I wish Allah's mercy on our four soldiers who were martyred in Idlib in the regime forces' attack, condolences to their families and quick recovery to the wounded. This attack on the Idlib agreement was immediately retaliated," İbrahim Kalın said in a tweet.

Kalın added that the perpetrators of the attack will pay the price.

Turkey's communications director also condemned the attack and extended his condolences to the families of the martyrs.

Turkey will bring perpetrators to account for the “treacherous attack,” Fahrettin Altun wrote on Twitter.

Bahçeli slams Syrian regime attacks

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said that diplomatic and military responses are required.

“We should make the life miserable for the enemies in Idlib and the surrounding area using our political and diplomatic initiatives as well as our military deterrence to this end,” Bahçeli said in a statement.

“The security of the [TSK's] observation posts and its surroundings, must be ensured. Assad must be regretted for his bloody attack," Bahçeli said

"It is clear that Turkey is not the one who violates [cease-fire] agreement on Idlib,” Bahçeli added.

Russian, Turkish military in contact on Idlib

The Russian and Turkish militaries are in close contact over the situation in Idlib, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Feb. 3.

"Russian and Turkish military are in close contact. There has not been yet a high-level conversation [on the situation in Idlib], but there is no doubt that if the presidents deem it necessary, it can be agreed upon within a short time," Peskov told reporters in Moscow.

Idlib is the last major rebel-held stronghold in Syria's nearly nine-year war and Erdoğan accuses Russia of violating agreements to reduce the fighting in the region, a charge which Moscow denied on Jan. 31.

Turkey, which already hosts over 3.6 million refugees from Syria, fears a fresh wave of migrants from Idlib.

It has 12 military observation posts around the region, set up under a 2017 agreement with Russia and Iran. Several of them have since been surrounded by advancing regime forces.

The defense ministry had previously said Turkish forces would retaliate "in the strongest way, without hesitation" against any attack on its observation posts in Idlib by Assad's forces.

Turkey, which has a 911-kilometer (566-mile) border with Syria along its southern frontier, has 12 military observation posts in the region, under a deal with Moscow and Tehran in 2017.

The Syrian regime’s forces on Dec. 23, 2019, surrounded one of 12 Turkish observation posts in the region. After the regime’s capture of Al-Surman town, in the southeast of Idlib, the eighth observation post of Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in the village was surrounded. Another Turkish observation post in the town of Morek was also surrounded in August, leaving two TSK posts within the regime’s territory.

With the regime's capture of Maarat al-Numan town last week, a total of three Turkish observation posts were left within regime territory.
Mon Feb 03 13:42:30
lol. What nation is Idlib part of again?
large member
Mon Feb 03 17:07:39
Telling local authorities stuff does not help much during a major offensive. Turkey screwed up by not using pre-agreed channels to clear troop movements.

Casualties tell a clear story of troops on the hoof, despite Turkey trying to conflate it with an attack on a fixed site observation post.

This aint nothing.
Wed Feb 05 08:16:07
Assad must do as ordered or face the consequences.


Syrian regime forces must withdraw from the area that was designated as a de-escalation zone in Idlib province until the end of this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has warned, signaling a new military operation if the threat against Turkey’s military posts in the area continues.

“If the Syrian regime does not retreat from Turkish observation posts in Idlib in February, Turkey will be obliged to do so itself,” Erdoğan said, addressing his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Feb. 5.

Erdoğan made this statement after he held a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on late Feb. 4 during which the two leaders discussed the Syrian army’s attack against a Turkish convoy that claimed the lives of eight Turks, seven of whom were servicemen.

“The attack on our soldiers the day before yesterday was a turning point in Syria for Turkey. It can no longer continue this way,” he said. “Turkey’s air and land forces will move freely in all operation areas [in Syria] and in Idlib, and they will conduct operations if needed,” he added amid speculation of fresh Turkish moves in northern Syria.

The new era in Idlib means a complete overhaul of Turkey’s security approach on the Syrian border and inside Syria, Erdoğan stressed, warning that any and every attack on Turkish soldiers or its allies will face retaliation, without any warning, regardless of the source of the attack.

Erdoğan recalled that Turkey, Russia and Iran had agreed to create a de-escalation zone in Idlib in 2018 by setting up observation posts under the Sochi agreement. “As the security of our troops cannot be provided [through the Sochi agreement] in Idlib, no one can object to our determinacy in protecting them.”

Message to Russia on Tel Rifat

Erdoğan also indicted to the Russian authorities that it wants Turkey’s long-standing demand of the withdrawal of the YPG troops from Tel Rifat, a strategic area linking the Afrin to Idlib provinces. The YPG troops are under the protection of the Russian military in the said area.

“The Tel Rifat region that stands as a threat to our Euphrates Shield Operation must be cleared of the terrorists and be handed to the governance of the Syrian people. It is a must for peace and comfort in the operation zone,” he stated.

He also underlined that the YPG is still active and conducting its terrorist activities in the eastern Euphrates region and Turkey will no longer tolerate them. “Since the guarantor countries in these regions [Russia and the United States] cannot stop them, it will be inevitable to act unilaterally,” he said.

Turkey has no intention to confront with no country and ally, its sole demand is to try to work to find a lasting solution to the security problems stemming from the Syrian theater, the president stated.

“We attach special importance for the continuation of our friendship and cooperation with Russia. Our sole expectation from Russia, a country with which we have deep ties on various fields, from the defense industry to energy, is to understand our sensitivities in Syria.”

Turkish, Russian teams to discuss developments

Erdoğan informed that he agreed with Putin to come together in the coming period, but until then the two countries’ delegations will hold working meetings.

A written statement from the Kremlin on the Erdoğan-Putin meeting underlined that “the sides agreed to take emergency measures, primarily at the level of the defense ministries of Russia and Turkey, to further strengthen the coordination of activities in Syria.”

Turkey won’t stay in Syria forever

Turkey conducts anti-terror operations in Syria based on 1998-dated Adana Protocol, the president said, explaining that it has no intention in staying in the territories of its neighbor forever.

“Turkey will have no business in Syria whenever a full inclusive charter is written, a government that represents the entire Syrian people and terrorists as well as other foreign forces leave the Syrian lands. No one has authority to question our presence in Syria until that day comes,” he added.
Wed Feb 05 08:29:40
^Posturing, no doubt.

At the same time, the Syrian Army should probably acclimate itself to the new reality that its zone of operations is somewhat reduced in size.
large member
Wed Feb 05 08:41:26
The Syrian Army is currently 4 kms from Idlib city. The posturing is to avoid an actual assault there soon.

A bit redundant. The regime is using a cheese slicer to whittle down Islamists (it has not attacked in the few sectors held by rebels not declared illegal by Russia).

It would not be attacking Idlib city this round in any event.
Wed Feb 05 08:41:56
Anyway, the Syrian government managed to recapture Ma'arrat al-Nu'man last week. If the Turks keep the SAA out of Saraqib though, that will basically put the entire northward offensive to an end, and keep Idlib City protected from any eastern attack.

Should be an interesting couple of weeks.
Anarchist Prime
Wed Feb 05 13:29:13
Wed Feb 05 23:30:57
large member
Thu Feb 06 01:26:14
The cheese cutter slices as it slices. Time is not really of the essence.
large member
Thu Feb 06 02:15:45
It sliced.


You can see clearly that the objective is to clear the M-5 highway between the political centre Damaskus and the old commerical centre Aleppo city.

large member
Thu Feb 06 03:06:08
Clearing the highway answers AI-UK's query btw :D.
Thu Feb 06 08:58:22
From what I'm seeing Saraqib is encircled, not taken.

Either way though, lol at Turkey. Using observations posts as area denials only works if you're willing to enforce violations. Not only has that bluff been called, but now Turkish troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Gg

Well, I guess congrats are due to the SAA for opening up the road to Idlib. That was easy.
large member
Thu Feb 06 13:19:18
It seems confirmed thas Saraquib is under SAA control.
Sat Feb 08 10:49:01
Mohammed Ghorab
More than 300 Turkish military vehicles entered the Syrian territory
More than 70 tanks
There are also cannons
#Idlib #Syria
The Anadolu Agency video


Al Masdar News claims that they intend to drive the Syrians back to the escalation line. I'll believe that when I see it...still, the SAA better watch itself.
large member
Sat Feb 08 21:16:37
ANKARA, February 8. /TASS/. Russian and Turkish officials have reached a decision on Saturday to continue negotiation over Syria’s Idlib in the coming week, the Turkish Foreign Ministry told reporters on Saturday.

"At the talks, the delegations discussed the situation in Idlib. In focus were the steps that are likely to be taken to ensure truce on the ground and to promote the political process. A decision was taken to continue the talks next week," the foreign ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry said that Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sedat Onal headed the Turkish delegation, while Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin and Russian Presidential Special Representative for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev led the Russian delegation. The talks were also attended by high-ranking officials of the two countries’ Defense Ministries, General Staffs and intelligence services.

The two-round talks were held in the Turkish capital and lasted at least three hours.

An escalation in Idlib has prompted talks between Russian and Turkish officials. The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier that the Russian and Turkish militaries had again attempted to declare a ceasefire, but terrorists just stepped up their attacks. As a result, Russian and Turkish military officials were killed. In response, the Syrian army launched a counterattack against extremists, seizing the town of Saraqib outside Idlib on February 5.

Idlib is the only Syrian region that has been controlled by illegal armed groups since 2012. A northern de-escalation zone was set up in Idlib in 2017 to give shelter to militants who refused to surrender arms in Eastern Ghouta and Syria’s southern regions.


Syrian troops advancing from Idlib and Aleppo meet in Tal al-Eiss — TV
As a result of the operation, governmental troops are expected to restore control over the entire 432-km Aleppo-Damascus highway

MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. Two separate formations of the Syrian armed forces, advancing from the governorates of Idlib and Aleppo, met late on Saturday in the Tell Iss district on the Aleppo-Damascus highway, the Beirut-based pan-Arab TV channel, Al Mayadeen, has reported.

According to Al Mayadeen, Syrian servicemen advancing from Idlib countryside drove militant groups out of 16 populated localities north of the city of Saraqib and entered the town of Tal al-Eiss. Meanwhile, another group of Syrian solders, who advanced from southwestern areas of Aleppo, also approached this district.

As a result of the operation, governmental troops are expected to restore control over the entire 432-km Aleppo-Damascus highway, a strategically important road linking the country’s north and south.

The Hama-Aleppo section of the highway, linking Damascus with industrial regions in the north and the country’s economic capital, Aleppo, remained under the control of terrorist groups from 2014.
Mon Feb 10 13:08:32
Total war is coming, the mother of all wars, Assad beware!


Five Turkish soldiers were killed and five others were injured in a Syrian regime artillery attack in Idlib province of Syria, as the Turkish army retaliated against the regime forces, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said on Feb. 10.

The attack, on a newly established Turkish military base in Taftanaz in Idlib province, happened a week after seven Turkish soldiers and one civilian contractor, working with the Turkish military, were killed by Syrian army bombardment.

Ankara said it retaliated for the latest strike.

“As a result of the intense artillery shooting by the regime on Feb. 10, 2020, five of our heroes were martyred and five others were wounded, who were among the elements sent to the region in order to prevent conflicts, to ensure our border security, to prevent migration and humanitarian tragedy,” said the Defense Ministry in a written statement.

The Turkish army responded to the targets determined in the region, said the statement.

“The necessary response was given, the targets were destroyed and the blood of our martyrs was not left on the ground. The developments are being closely monitored and necessary measures are being taken,” said the statement.

“A heinous attack occurred today in Idlib, where our military serves, pursuant to our rights under international law, to end the violence and mitigate the humanitarian crisis. I pray for our sons, who perished in the said attack and wish a speedy recovery to our wounded,” Fahrettin Altun, the presidential communications director, said on his Twitter account.

Turkey retaliated against the attack to destroy all enemy targets and avenge the fallen troops, he said. “The war criminal, who ordered today’s heinous attack, targeted the entire international community, not just Turkey.”

“The Turkish Armed Forces, who tirelessly serve the cause of peace and stability around the world, will continue to crush anyone who dares to target our flag, to reassure our friends, and to strike fear into the hearts of our enemies,” Altun noted.

As the conflict escalated in Idlib, Turkish and Russian officials met in Ankara for talks.

Turkey, which hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees, says the offensive has set off a fresh humanitarian crisis. It says it cannot absorb any more refugees and has demanded Damascus pull back in Idlib by the end of the month or face Turkish action.
large member
Mon Feb 10 13:12:14
I always get a bit suspicious when Muslim press releases claim 101 enemy killed.

But strikes at this level are hardly worrisome unless in direct support of rebel counter attacks.

The SAA advance has cost it very little compared to the casualties it used to shrug off to secure vital ground. A few score dead will not change the equation much.

Tue Feb 11 09:48:42
Big announcement tomorrow:


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 11 vowed that the Syrian regime, which attacked Turkish troops in northwestern Syria’s Idlib province, would pay a “heavy price.”

The president also said he would announce a series of new steps on Feb. 12 that Turkey would take against Bashar al-Assad’s regime over attacks on Turkish soldiers in Idlib.

“The more they attack our soldiers, they heftier price they will pay,” he said at a ceremony.

“We gave the necessary responses to the Syrian side at the highest level. Especially in Idlib, they got what they deserved. But this is not enough, it will continue,” the president noted.
large member
Tue Feb 11 09:55:49
MOSCOW, February 11. /TASS/. The Syrian government army has gained full control of the strategically important Damascus-Aleppo highway, the Al-Hadath TV channel informed. According to the channel, the Syrian military has cleared the outposts of militants located between the cities of Hama and Aleppo.

The 432-km highway connects Damascus with industrial zones in northern Syria and the economic capital of Aleppo.

Idlib is the only Syrian region that has been controlled by illegal armed groups, including the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) since 2012. A northern de-escalation zone was set up in Idlib in 2017 to give shelter to militants who refused to surrender arms in Eastern Ghouta and Syria’s southern regions. The Turkish army has 12 observation outposts in the province.

On January 25, the Syrian government army began an operation with the aim to regain control over the western and southern surroundings of Aleppo. On February 5, Syrian government forces entered the town of Saraqib, an outpost of Jabhat al-Nusra in the Idlib province. Saraqib is a town of strategic importance that sits at the junction of two main roads connecting Latakia and Damascus with Aleppo.


This actually matters.
Anarchist Prime
Tue Feb 11 10:46:12
Wed Feb 12 06:56:03
Good news:


ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey’s military would strike Russian-backed Syrian forces by air or ground anywhere in Syria if another Turkish soldier was hurt as the Assad government tried to regain control of Idlib province.

Erdogan said Turkey is determined to push Syrian government forces beyond Turkish observation posts in Idlib by the end this month, and he urged allied Syrian rebels not to give government forces an excuse to attack.
Fri Feb 14 08:31:40
New map!


Looks like the M5 is now (almost) entirely controlled by the Syrian government.

Based on the arrows, the SAA is currently targeting Taftanaz, al-Atarib and Haraytan. Seems to be focused on building buffers around the M5 and Aleppo's west front, and establishing new stagepoints for deeper advances into the province.

A lot of Turkish outposts are now in SAA-controlled territory lol.

Not a bad performance so far to be frank.
Fri Feb 14 08:34:26
Panaromic view of southwest Idlib City from last month:


It already looks like a war zone (though to be fair, the god-awful bunker-like architecture doesn't help).
large member
Fri Feb 14 10:36:30
I suspect the SAA and allies are doing far better than anyone expected, not least themselves.

Some of the advances seem opportunistic, not planned.
Fri Feb 14 16:25:15
Next one down


Turkish-backed rebels down Syrian helicopter in Idlib

(Reuters) - Turkish-backed Syrian rebels shot down a government helicopter west of Aleppo in Syria's northwestern Idlib region, where violence and displacement has spiked in recent weeks, Turkish and Syrian state media said on Friday.

A rebel military source and eyewitnesses told Reuters Russian jets had been targeting areas in the countryside west of Aleppo earlier on Friday, but they evacuated back to the city after the helicopter was downed.

"One of our military helicopters was hit by an enemy missile in the western countryside of Aleppo...where armed terrorist organizations supported by Turkey are deployed, and this led to the fall of the helicopter and death of its crew," Syrian state news agency SANA cited a military source as saying.
Fri Feb 14 17:09:07
Yeah, that's what happens when Erdogan gives stingers to headchoppers.

Fucking Hellfire Erdogan, yesterday
large member
Sat Feb 15 07:13:47
Its actually to SAAs advantage. It does have a shopping list with Russia. All shooting down a few combat fitted utility helicopters does is demonstrate a need for supplies of true combat helicopters.

Syria has been very good at leveraging "you don't want people to think Russian equipment is shiite (so to speak), so give us some proper stuff we probably won't lose as often.
large member
Sat Feb 15 07:14:05
large member
Sat Feb 15 16:58:21

I don't know what to say. Turkey is going to have to intervene if it wants the keep the conflict going.

The rebels are collapsing far faster than I imagined possible.

This is not SAA strength. This is rebel weakness.
Turtle Crawler
Sat Feb 15 19:31:47
I track the war progress here:


It has been quite productive recently.
Turtle Crawler
Sat Feb 15 19:32:42
One of the things the last peace agreement said would happen would the M5 highway would be opened.

Well they never did so SAA is taking it.
large member
Sun Feb 16 06:15:43
Turkey does have legitimate security concerns. Idlib is a reservation for radical rebels. Many were bussed in from along Jordan's frontier to along Turkey's as part of the process that restored regime control of Daraa.

It does not seem completely fair that the SAA close the reservation and force the radicals to flee into Turkey to do mayhem (crime would be the most innocent mayhem).
Wed Feb 19 14:57:53
Counting the hours!


Erdoğan says Syria talks with Russia unsatisfactory, operation 'matter of time'

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 19 that talks with Russia on the northwestern Syrian region of Idlib were far from meeting Turkey's demands and warned that a military operation there was a "matter of time".

"As with all [previous] operations, we say 'we could suddenly come one night.' In other words, an Idlib operation is a matter of time," Erdoğan said. He was referring to the previous three Turkish operations to northern Syria since 2016.

"We are entering the last days for the [Syrian] regime to stop its hostility in Idlib. We are making our final warnings," he added. “Turkey has made all preparations to carry out its own operation plans in Idlib."

The president's remarks came during a speech at the parliamentary group meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in capital Ankara.

Erdoğan said Turkey was determined to make Idlib a secure zone "no matter the cost," even as talks continue with Russia, which backs Syria's Bashar al-Assad's forces.

The meetings with Russia have failed to yield results, according to Erdoğan.

"We did not reach the desired results in our talks. The talks will continue, but it is true that we are far from meeting our demands at the table," he said.

Ankara is determined to transform Idlib into a safe place at any cost for the sake of both Turkey and the region's people, the president said.

Turkish and Russian officials held several rounds of talks in Ankara and Moscow. The foreign ministers Turkey and Russia also met at the weekend but failed to find a solution.

Turtle Crawler
Wed Feb 19 15:05:53
I checked the map after a few days. Huge amount of territory taken.
large member
Wed Feb 19 17:47:46
Its still just rebel weakness.

The highway is open. Aleppo airport is open. The next major change is the latakia-aleppo highway or or Idlib city.

Wed Feb 19 19:06:03
Turtle Crawler - Nice map. The Kurdish situation seems to be dumbed down, but it does a good job showing the SAA gains so far. Which are a lot.
Anarchist Prime
Fri Feb 21 08:57:52
large member
Fri Feb 21 09:33:25
That would be patriot missiles with crews. Full integration and familiarization takes upt to 24 months.

"Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of 26 contractor representatives in Turkey for training for a period of 24 months and major item repair for approximately 12 months"

So it would not be the patriot missiles protecting Turkey. It would be the US operators acting as human shields.

Fri Feb 21 13:32:49
"It does not seem completely fair that the SAA close the reservation and force the radicals to flee into Turkey to do mayhem"

Turkey was perfectly fine shooting protesters trying to help out in Kobani, surely they can do as well preventing entry as exit.
Turtle Crawler
Fri Feb 21 14:12:45
Yeah I have trouble coming up with a reason that Trump would send troops over there.
large member
Fri Feb 21 16:02:50
It would not be a good move. Much as a conflict without airpower would be amusing.
Anarchist Prime
Wed Feb 26 08:47:25
Undercover in Idlib

Wed Feb 26 08:55:15
It has begun!!!


February 25, 2020 / 8:13 AM / Updated 17 hours ago
Turkish-backed rebels say they seized town in Syria's Idlib in first advance

Syrian rebels backed by the Turkish military have seized the town of Nairab in northwest Syria’s Idlib province, Turkish and rebel officials said on Tuesday, the first area to be taken back from advancing Syrian government forces.
Wed Feb 26 15:40:33
This week will be THE week


Turkey will repel Syrian forces from Idlib posts this week: Erdogan

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey plans to push Syrian government forces away from its military observation posts in northwest Syria's Idlib region this week, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, despite continued advances by Damascus's Russian-backed military.

Nearly a million Syrians have been displaced in the last three months by fighting between Turkish-backed rebels and Syrian forces trying to recapture the last major insurgent-held region in Syria after nine years of war.

Ankara has sent thousands of troops and truckloads of equipment into the region, in Syria's northwest corner bordering Turkey, to support the rebels and Erdogan has vowed to push back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

"We are planning to liberate our observation posts from the surrounding (Syrian government forces) by the end of this month, one way or another," Erdogan told his party's lawmakers in a speech.

But Assad's forces made fresh gains in southern Idlib province where they took a number of villages on Wednesday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, and a military news outlet run by Assad's Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

The pro-government forces' immediate objective is to reach the town of Kafar Aweed, the capture of which would force rebels to withdraw from a wider tract of territory including their last remaining foothold in Hama province, Observatory Director Rami Abdulrahman said.

The Syrian army said it had seized numerous villages and towns in the last few days in the south of Idlib province, describing the captured territory as an important crossroads between rebel-held territories.

Erdogan first demanded on Feb. 5 that Assad's forces pull back behind a line of Turkish observation posts by end-February, or Turkey would drive them back.

Turkey set up 12 observation posts up around a "de-escalation zone" in Idlib under a 2017 agreement with Russia and Iran, but several now find themselves behind Syrian government front lines.

Turtle Crawler
Wed Feb 26 16:24:39

They took back 2 cities or something in the north and lost 10x that in the south. Huge day for the Syrian army.
large member
Thu Feb 27 16:57:06
Reports of up to 34 Turkish soldiers killed in a single attack.

Turkey has responded by opening its borders to Europe.
Thu Feb 27 22:52:19
Invade turkey
Fri Feb 28 01:21:03
Shit is going crazy.

The Russian defence ministry on Thursday accused Turkey of violating a peace deal for Syria's Idlib by supporting rebels with artillery fire and drones.

"In violation of the Sochi agreements in the Idlib de-escalation zone the Turkish side is continuing to support illegal armed groups with artillery fire and the use" of drones to target the Syrian troops, the ministry said, quoting the head of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria, Oleg Zhuravlev.

- -

BEIRUT (Reuters) - At least 34 Turkish soldiers were killed in air strikes in Syria’s Idlib on Thursday, the Syrian Observatory, a war monitor, reported.

- -

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey has decided to no longer stop Syrian refugees from reaching Europe by land and sea, a senior Turkish official told Reuters on Thursday, in anticipation of the imminent arrival of refugees from Syria’s Idlib where nearly a million have been displaced.

- -

^ In that case Turkey should give back the billions of € that they have received from the EU.
large member
Fri Feb 28 01:30:58
Well, it actually did have to come to blows unless Syria is ok with Turkey holding more Syrian soil in perpertuity (Turkey does actually hold a football field of land forever. Its a Turkish nationalist holy site of some sort. I forget the details).

Now Turkey knows occupation means confrontation, not a frozen conflict.

Everyone might say this is something Turkey can win easily. Well, perhaps. If it is willing to suffer the levels of losses the regime and the rebels shrug off daily.
Fri Feb 28 01:35:08
Turkish freedom drones are attacking!


Turkey neutralizes 1,709 Syrian regime elements in Idlib
large member
Fri Feb 28 01:44:13

MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. The Turkish military who came under fire from Syrian troops on February 27 were among the advancing militants, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters.

"Turkish military who were in the terrorist units’ battle formations came under Syrian troops’ fire near the inhabited community of Behun on February 27," the ministry said.

According to the ministry, militants from the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terror group (one of the names of Jabhat al-Nusra, outlawed in Russia) made an attempt to launch a large-scale offensive in Syria’s Idlib.

"On February 27, 2020, the units of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terror group operating in the Idlib de-escalation zone made an attempt to conduct a large-scale offensive operation on the positions of Syrian government troops," the ministry informed.

It stressed that the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria had requested information on the exact locations of all units of the Turkish armed forces deployed close to the areas of terrorists’ military operations. According to the information provided by Ankara, there were no Turkish troops in the Behun area, the Defense Ministry stressed.

The Russian Reconciliation Center has stayed in touch with Turkey’s coordination center in Idlib in order to rule out any security threats to Turkish observation posts and units deployed in the Idlib de-escalation zone caused by the Syrian army’s reprisal fire.
Air strikes by Russia

As for the Russian Aerospace Forces, they did not carry out airstrikes in the area close to Behun where Turkish servicemen had been killed, the Russian top brass stated. "Aircraft of Russia’s Aerospace Forces were not used near the inhabited community of Behun," the statement reads.

According to the Defense Ministry, "immediately after receiving information about the injured Turkish troops, Russia took comprehensive measures to ensure full cessation of hostilities by Syrian forces." The evacuation of the Turkish servicemen who had been killed or wounded to Turkey was ensured as well.

Governor of Turkey’s Hatay province bordering Syria Rahmi Dogan earlier reported that Turkish troops had come under fire in Syria’s idlib Governorate, with at least 33 soldiers killed. According to Omer Celik, spokesman for the Justice and Development Party led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, after that incident Ankara will view Syrian troops as enemy targets.

The situation in Idlib deteriorated dramatically in early February after the Russian and Turkish taskforces had made another attempt to enforce a ceasefire. Terrorists only intensified their attacks instead. Last week, Erdogan said that Ankara was ready to use all its combat might in case of a military operation in Idlib. He also noted that another military campaign in Idlib was just a matter of time.
large member
Fri Feb 28 01:47:08
The odd thing here is the level of coordination the Russians can ensure from Syrians quite quickly.

"comprehensive measures to ensure full cessation of hostilities by Syrian forces"

This assumes very good C4 and Russia integrated into it.
Anarchist Prime
Fri Feb 28 09:02:48
some fighting

at 4:24 mark an apc(looks like it's a ACV-15) chases off a tank(looks like a T-72).

Fri Feb 28 09:31:28
^I love how Jaysh al-Ahrar Salafists have an official YouTube channel.
Anarchist Prime
Fri Feb 28 12:27:12

Tom Cotton‏Verified account @SenTomCotton

Follow Follow @SenTomCotton


Russia and the Assad regime are to blame for the humanitarian disaster unfolding in northwest Syria. Our NATO ally Turkey is doing the right thing. Putin and Assad must honor their commitments and stop the massacre.

8:07 AM - 28 Feb 2020
Sat Feb 29 14:49:45
So sad that they fight in the wrong side, so sad.


Syria: Turkish operations spook Hezbollah militias

Iran-backed Hezbollah militias suffer heavy losses, say they have been abandoned by Russia, Assad regime


Turkey’s military operations have inflicted heavy losses on Hezbollah militias in Idlib, northwestern Syria, and their panic is evident in internal communications accessed by Anadolu Agency.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah militias support Assad regime forces against Syria’s moderate opposition groups, and have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians.

They use WhatsApp groups for coordination and communication, and recent messages show their growing anxiety as Turkish forces make gains to protect Syrian civilians.

In messages seen by Anadolu Agency, the militia members blamed Russia for not helping them against Turkish forces and complained about being abandoned by the Assad regime forces.

They said the regime forces had fled from the area and left them all alone.

A voice message heard by Anadolu Agency contained an update on the latest developments in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

“The Russians did not help and the Syrian forces have escaped. Our youth are left alone. The Turkish army has taken the region under heavy bombardment. We have losses under the debris. We have reached nine of them including Abbas and Jafar,” a militant was heard as saying.

“There is nothing certain yet; the Russians are still indifferent to these developments. Do not ask anything for now; the situation is highly critical.”

Other messages on the group chats showed the panicked militias launched a campaign for prayers, a move that become a sort of ritual for them in critical times.

The “heavy bombardment” the militant mentioned was Turkey’s powerful retaliation to Thursday night’s deadly attack on its troops by regime forces.

Late on Thursday, at least 34 Turkish soldiers were martyred and dozens more injured in an airstrike by the Assad regime in the Idlib de-escalation zone, just across Turkey’s southern border.

The strike was the latest in a series of regime attacks on Turkish troops this year.

Turkish officials kept their their pledge that such assaults would not go unanswered and pounded regime targets from the ground and air.

Turkish forces are in Idlib to protect civilians as per the September 2018 deal with Russia under which acts of aggression are prohibited in the region.
Sun Mar 01 23:14:35
Ongoing operation Spring Shield is a full success:


Syria’s official news agency said two of its warplane were shot down by Turkish forces inside northwest Syria, amid a military escalation there that’s led to growing direct clashes between Turkish and Syrian forces.

SANA says the jets were targeted over the Idlib region, and that the four pilots ejected with parachutes and landed safely.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry said it had shot down two SU-24 aircraft and destroyed air defense systems after one of its aerial drones was downed. Earlier, Syrian military-run media said it had downed a drone inside northwest Syria, and was closing its airspace for any flights or drones across the country’s northwestern region. It said any aircraft that penetrates Syrian airspace will be treated as hostile and shot down.

The Syrian announcement came after two days of Turkish drone attacks in Idlib province that Syrian activists said caused heavy losses to Syrian government forces. These confrontations have added to soaring tensions between Turkey and Russia, which support opposing sides of the Syrian civil war.

Turkish Defense Minsiter Hulusi Akar, speaking from military headquarters near the Syrian border, said Turkey aimed to confront Syrian government forces rather than Russian troops. He called on Moscow to persuade Syrian President Bashar Assad to withdraw to 2018 cease-fire lines on the edges of Idlib.

Referring to losses inflicted on Syria, he said Turkey had “neutralized” more than 2,200 Syrian troops, 103 tanks and eight helicopters.
sam adams
Mon Mar 02 21:16:24
Let the tribes of sand people squabble amongst themselves. Especially two shitholes that dont even control oil.
Fuck em and leave.
Tue Mar 03 12:13:07
Another plane shot down, Erdogan is a man of his word:


Turkey's Defense Ministry said on March 2 that a warplane of the Syrian regime's forces had been shot down in the course of a Turkish-led military offensive launched in northwest Syria to push back the forces of Bashar al-Assad.

The downed jet was described as an L-39 warplane in the ministry's statement.

The Syrian state news agency SANA separately reported that a Syrian warplane had been targeted by Turkish forces.

It was the third Syrian warplane Turkey has shot down since March 1 in an escalating campaign against Assad's forces.

The ministry's statement also said that the operation "continued successfully through the night."

Within the last 24 hours, Turkish forces have destroyed one aircraft, one drones, six tanks, two air defense systems, five howitzers and multiple rocket launchers, three armored combat vehicles, six military vehicles, and one ammunition depot, the statement said. Some 327 soldiers of the Syrian regime have been "neutralized," according to the statement.
large member
Tue Mar 03 14:16:20
Turkey has supposedly lost 14 UCAVS (combat drones) in the last 48 hours. It has produced 118 of them.
Tue Mar 03 17:58:56
Yes some drones have been lost, because Turkey used drone swarms to take out Syrian AA, a very new tactic invented by Turkey. This was a full success.
Wed Mar 04 02:44:33
Russians on the run in Idlib:
Wed Mar 04 10:58:21
It would be stupid to remain if the area is being bombarded.
large member
Wed Mar 04 11:38:35
M5 under regime control again.
large member
Thu Mar 05 05:26:47


The Syrian ground forces will not be running out of hardware. Check Russian reserve numbers.

The logistics challenge is mostly that of modernization. Russia will not send stuff that has not been mordernized or that will not have a competent crew. No point in undermining the export market.
Fri Mar 06 11:04:03
Ceasefire declared!


#Map of #Syria Demilitarized Zone Established within the Framework of the Sochi Agreement & Security Corridor Determined After Moscow Summit


Looks like Putin got tired of having to put Russians in front of SAA units in order to protect them from getting nuked by Turkey.
large member
Fri Mar 06 11:09:53
The conflict had stalemated. Time to consolidate. Particularly as opening the latakia-Aleppo highway is cornerstone of the agreement.

Turkey was losing drones fast. I think that is the reason it went for the cf. It had also suffered 100 killed.
Fri Mar 06 11:24:01

Consolidation is a good word for it. I expect Erdogan will be significantly fortifying his position in the weeks to come.

M4 opening is a win for your team to be sure. I just hope Assad has enough trigger discipline to not risk having it close again by immediately violating the ceasefire.

Turkey did lose men in the fighting. How many Syrians got wiped out as retaliation? The term "order of magnitude" can probably be used in the answer to that question.

Anarchist Prime
Fri Mar 06 11:25:10
"The term "order of magnitude" can probably be used in the answer to that question."

large member
Fri Mar 06 13:08:40
Not my team.

SAA regulars? In the same order of magnitude.

Supporting forces have higher losses. The more professional, the lower losses.

Tigerforces is technically SAA, but is best considered private contractors.

Overall? Regime forces wiped the floor with Turkey and its proxies. By an order of magnitude.
Anarchist Prime
Fri Mar 06 13:13:12
"By an order of magnitude."

large member
Fri Mar 06 13:15:23
Its not to say. Turkey did get in some good hits with its drones (including observation for arty). But the happy days are over. The regime quickly deployed effective countermeasures.

Its really hard to beat the regime since Putin decided to use it to showcase Russian hardware in practice.

Any holes in its efficiency will be plugged by Russia as lessons are learned.

Its actually a very nice touch that all of this huffhaw has had 0 effect on Russia's deliveries of s-400ds to Turkey.

It sort of underlines that Russia is a reliable supplier.
Fri Mar 06 13:28:07
Fri Mar 06 13:33:50
Worst individual fuck up of the 2010s? I vote F-16 pilot not shooting down Erdogan during the coup attempt
Fri Mar 06 13:42:36
"Not my team," he says, as he drools all over Russian military tech.

1,000-2,000 government troops out for the count. To say nothing of the hardware that was bbqed. It's safe to say that Turkey-Syria is not a conflict of equals.

Incidentally, that count includes 21 Syrians who were killed to avenge the deaths of two Turkish soldiers yesterday. Order of magnitude, indeed. I guess theres only so many troops that Assad can defend with Russian human shields.

Just as a reminder, the SAA was unambiguously losing to a bunch of spray and pray jihadists prior to Papa Putin's decision to directly intervene in the war. A decade of combat experience, together with significant Russian and Iranian support and liberal use of WMDs, and they still would easily lose to pretty much any other country on the planet.

You should be thanking Norwegian Jesus every day for the fact that the American public has little appetite for nation building these days. We'd be in Damascus by next Monday.
large member
Fri Mar 06 13:50:47
Seriously, what drugs are you on?
Fri Mar 06 13:53:44
You're welcome to contest any facts you like.
large member
Fri Mar 06 14:12:23
What facts?
Fri Mar 06 15:12:14
What are you contesting as facts? Please specify:

-Number of Syrians killed (I actually opted to ignore the highest estimates for that one - you're welcome)

-Use of Russians to prevent Turkish strikes

-SAA was losing the war in 2015 (why else did Russia feel compelled to intervene in the first place? That was the year Idlib fell, incidentally)

-Repested use of chemical weapons (there's only so many times you can claim the rebels keep gassing themselves before you start to lose credibility)

-America, along with many other countries, would absolutely rape Syrian military capabilities if we tried
large member
Fri Mar 06 15:25:55
The Syrian Observatory typically gives about 25 regime soldiers and militia killed per day in the period of Turkey was engaged. Its in that ballpark.

Compare oranges to oranges. If you want to look at Turkish casualties in isolation, then compare it to SAA losses. If you want to do everyone then compare Turkey+proxies with SAA+proxies.

Also, if compare dead to dead, not dead to dead, wounded and injured.

Russia most definitely sent in ground troops to block Turkey in a specific city. Your point?

The SAA was most definitely losing the war in 2015. Your point?

Chemical weapons were Syria's strategic deterrent. I believe that at most, chemical agents were released from the arsenal for use. After that? I believe that some asshats did put ratpoison or chlorine into barrel bombs on occassion. I also believe the rebels have staged a number of chemical attacks. I am convinced that several incidents stem not from what was in the bomb, but from what was on the ground the bomb hit. Bomb your kitchen sink and you will get positive chemical tests afterwards from whatever vapourised cleaning agents you happened to keep under your sink.

Murricah! Your point?

You sure about many other nations? Not many even have independent force deployment capability and Syria is a bit awkward to reach. And what would your point be in any event?
large member
Fri Mar 06 15:27:03
chemical agents were released from the arsenal for use *once*
Fri Mar 06 16:10:20

So, now we've gone from "what facts" to "I agree with 80% of your points." I guess that's progress?

I wasn't aware that SOHR was considered a reliable source in these parts. But if you want to use them going forward, fair enough. In that case, Syrian losses are "only" in the high hundreds, while Turkey has 73 dead (not 100).

As for the rest, my point is that the pro-government forces are garbage, and that they're only winning because their opponents are even more terrible (and hopelessly disunited) garbage. Also, indiscriminate bombing runs tend to be effective.

Let's please stop pretending that Syrian/Russian/Iranian military capabilities are just WTF amazing and totally unstoppable. It gets tiresome to read.
large member
Fri Mar 06 16:31:53
Again, what drugs are you on?

You are easier to understand once you voluntarily remove the hyperbolic drivel you pack your posts with.

SOHR is not particularly reliable, but "in that ball park" means exactly that.

Syrian regime with proxies has lost mid hundreds. Turkish regime with proxies has lost mid thousands. Order of magnitude. Your point?

Pro regime forces dramatically overperformed my expectations based on opposition weakness. Pro regime forces do have competent elements and the SAA is gaining in profeciency quickly.

Who exactly is pretending Syrian/Russian/Iranian capabilities are WTF amazing?

War is messy and ineffective. Any comparative study is just measuring variations in the degree of waste.
large member
Fri Mar 06 16:33:50
Or where you alluding to missiles being able to shoot down unmanned vehicles without on board countermeasures as wtf amazing? Or perhaps it is the wwi principle of jamming radio signals that has your panties in a bunch.

Its not high grade, but it works when in place.
large member
Fri Mar 06 16:37:11
You seem to forget that Turkey had to step in because its proxies disintegrated. It was not exactly Turkey's preferred option. As the inevitable surrender in Putin's court proved.
Sat Mar 07 05:20:06
Turkey humiliated
The Children
Sat Mar 07 10:25:23
but but but them turkey boyz were gloatin how they destroyed russian s400s and how the invented drone swarms overpowerin syrian and russian airdefense while simultanously destroyin 2000++ syrian personnel...

that was not a meetin of equals. he was called to answer and explain on russian soil.
Sat Mar 07 11:54:07

Use of rhetoric is a key element of almost any political argument. The fact that you have it confused with hyperbole is amusing, but I see no need to alter my posting for it.

High hundreds to low thousands of Syrian dead, compared to under a hundred Turks. I don't know why the fuck you're trying to drag proxies into this equation - the topic at hand here is what effect Turkey's intervention had in the war, not how a bunch of infighting Islamic militias were doing prior to that.

Your "objective" analysis of the conflict is somewhat undercut by your massive biases - highlighting positive news for the government while ignoring negative news, giddily exclaiming about how superior Russian military tech is going to completely transform the war, etc. I'd bet good money on you having masturbated to videos of S-400 firings on multiple occasions.

I wouldn't mind it as much if you didn't try to cloak your posts with the guise of neutrality. Swordtail at least makes himself plain - he spent one too many days on Zerohedge and has now lost the ability to see that the West occasionally doing something bad or hypocritical doesn't translate into Russia automatically being the good guy. He's in a sorry state, but at least it's an honest one.

I'm looking for honesty is all.
large member
Sat Mar 07 18:46:36
You keep on comparing apples and oranges. Turkey got involved to save its proxies. Turkey and its proxies lost a lot of manpower and equipment.

The SAA and its proxies lost a lot of manpower and equipment, but significantly less than Turkey and friends.

My bias is well-known. I am a Westphallian. There is no excuse for dismantling nation-states by interfering with their internal affairs.

Why the fuck would I care about 2nd rate military equipment Russia has supplied Syria? The only interesting thing about it is how well stuff can be integrated into Syrian forces.

You have seen 0 comments from me about the Secret V-Weapons of the Russian Federation. There are a number of new systems with odd claims attached.

And all change is incremental change. Some things do matter, but only against the backdrop of extreme western casualty aversion. A marginal threat is multiplied dramatically if no conditions with major casualties are acceptable, no matter the small odds of it happening.

You are in other words batshit crazy. But we all knew that.
large member
Sat Mar 07 18:55:39
Russia's approach to being the Arsenal of Tyranny is interesting. "In conflict with Turkey (check). Keep on supplying Turkey with military hardware (check)".

I would actually get if you accused me for admiration there. True, but not in a good way. I am not a huge fan of arms transfers in general, but both Syria and Russia are being "smart" about it. I have commented that.
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