Thursday, June 13, 2019

Despite Idlib Ceasefire Limited Fighting Continues...Airstrikes Quieter

Following up on...
Will this latest limited fighting break the ceasefire? Or is this typical of the skirmishes that continue until the ceasefire takes full hold?

"Russia and Turkey, two of the dominant foreign powers in the area, had negotiated what Russian state news agencies said was a cease-fire between the groups. It took effect on Wednesday, briefly ending more than six weeks of fighting, bombing and shelling as the Syrian government moved to reclaim parts of the northwest.
The terms of the cease-fire remained unclear, and neither Turkey nor Russia said how long it was supposed to last.
While Syrian residents of Idlib and the surrounding countryside said the airstrikes and shelling that had hounded them day and night had quieted considerably, shelling on the neighboring Hama area breached the cease-fire overnight, residents said."
It was shelling in Hama that breached the agreement

"On Thursday morning, the Turkish Defense Ministry said Syrian government forces had attacked a Turkish military observation post in Idlib, shelling it 35 times. In a statement posted on Twitter, the ministry said the shelling was “considered deliberate.”
UPDATED: Translation of the Turkish Twitter Post
(Wanted to know for myself what the Turkish Defense Ministry had stated)

Turkish: Suriye rejim güçlerinin İdlib Gerginliği Azaltma Bölgesinde kontrol ettiği As Shariah bölgesinden, 3 kilometre mesafedeki Zawiyah Dağı bölgesinde yer alan 10 numaralı Gözlem Noktamıza kasıtlı olduğu değerlendirilen 35 havan atışı ile bir saldırı gerçekleştirilmiştir.

Yapılan havan saldırısında üç kahraman silah arkadaşımız hafif şekilde yaralanmış; üs bölgemizde yer alan, tesis, teçhizat ve malzemelerden bir kısmı kısmi hasar görmüştür. Yaralı personelin tahliye ve tedavileri devam etmektedir.

Saldırıyla ilgili olarak Rusya nezdinde gerekli girişimlerde bulunulmuştur.

Durum yakından takip edilmektedir. Kamuoyuna saygı ile duyurulur
English: From the As Shariah region, which was controlled by Syrian regime forces in the Idlib Tension Reduction Zone, an attack was carried out with 35 mortar shots to our Observation Point No. 10 located in Mount Zawiyah, 3 kilometers away.
In the mortar attack, three of our heroes were slightly wounded; Some of the facilities, equipment and materials in our base area have been partially damaged. The evacuation and treatment of the injured personnel continues.

Necessary initiatives have been taken with Russia in connection with the attack.

The situation is closely monitored. Announced to the public with respect
Ankara requested Moscow’s assistance to ensure security of its military after terrorists shelled a Turkish military observation point in Syria’s Idlib, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

Overnight to June 13, terrorists shelled from artillery weapons an observation point of Turkey’s military forces located near the Jabal Zawiya highland region in the Idlib province, the ministry said.

"Amid the threat to the life of its personnel, the Turkish command turned to the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides, requesting assistance in ensuring security of its military and carrying out strikes against the terrorists’ positions," the statement said.

The Defense Ministry said eaerlier that Russian Aerospace Force eliminated large group of militants who shelled positions of Turkish Armed Forces in Idlib.

Earlier on Thursday, the Turkish Defense Ministry reported that at least three Turkish servicemen were wounded during the shelling against their positions in the Idlib de-escalation zone. According to reports on Wednesday, at Russia’s request an agreement on a complete ceasefire in the entire de-escalation zone was reached from midnight on June 12, which was brokered by Moscow and Ankara. Tensions in the Idlib de-escalation zone have subsided in the past 24 hours as a result of the ceasefire deal, the head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria, Maj. Gen. Viktor Kupchishin, said.

Continuing the narrative: Someone shelled the Turkish outposts- Turkey contacted Russia- Russia bombed those that attacked the outpost- cohesive narrative.
"And Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday that Russian jets had bombed forces it called terrorists in Idlib four times after the Turkish military outpost was shelled.
Still, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Britain-based war monitor, said that pro-government airstrikes on Idlib and Hama, which destroyed many hospitals, schools and homes in the pro-government offensive, had stopped by Thursday morning"

Read the rest at the NYT's website

Related reading  below because the northern border of Syria is very much a world war.

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