Russia and the regime of Bashar al-Assad pose a great threat to the security of the Turkish military who are deployed in the Idlib de-escalation zone.” This was stated by US Special Representative to Syria James Jeffrey while talking to journalists at Esenboga Airport in Ankara.
Earlier the night before, February 11, Turkish state news agency Anadolu quoted Jeffrey saying – “Today, our NATO ally, Turkey, is facing a great threat in Idlib. This threat comes from Russia and the Assad regime, ”the American diplomat said.
The delegation headed by Jeffrey intends to discuss the situation in Idlib with the Turkish authorities in order to provide “maximum support” to Ankara. At the same time, the US Special Representative expressed condolences over the death of Turkish troops as a result of the “attack by the forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime.”
A delegation led by a senior US State Department official arrived in Turkey to negotiate with representatives of the Turkish authorities, during which it was planned to discuss the incident of the attack by Bashar al-Assad forces on the Turkish military in Idlib.
Similar statements were made on Tuesday by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg who said that the situation in the north-west of the Arab Republic is a cause of serious concern for NATO. The attacks in Syria is indiscriminate, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to flee their homes, he added. “NATO condemns the attacks on Idlib. We urge the Assad regime and Russia to immediately cease hostilities, ”Stoltenberg concluded.
As EurAsian Times reported earlier, the Russian delegation, which came to Ankara to discuss the ceasefire in Idlib province, left Turkey without reaching an agreement.
Representatives of Russia arrived in Ankara on Saturday, February 8, a few days after eight Turkish soldiers were killed due to shelling by the Syrian forces. On Monday, when representatives of Turkey and Russia were negotiating in Ankara, a second incident occurred in Idlib, which killed another five Turkish soldiers.
Recall, on February 10, in the Syrian province of Idlib, Turkish and Syrian soldiers engaged in a bloody offensive. According to the Turkish Ministry of Defense, more than 100 soldiers of the Syrian “regime” were “neutralized” as a result of missile and artillery attacks on 115 targets in the north-west of the Arab Republic.
The Syrian Armed Forces General Staff did not confirm the figures. It is known that army artillery and multiple launch rocket systems attacked Turkish military columns and firing positions in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo. The most severe attacks occurred on the Turkish convoy in the area of the former Syrian airbase “Taftanaz” (Idlib province) and the Turkish stronghold in the area of the city of Atareb (Aleppo province).
The Turkish command admitted that as a result of the attacks on Taftanaz, at least 5 Turkish military personnel were killed and as many were injured. Local sources reported that there were more troops who were wounded and were taken out from Taftanaz towards the Syrian-Turkish border. It has been suggested that the actual number of combat losses by Turkey is significantly greater than what Ankara has announced.