Russia bombs allied Turkish troops in Syria

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Syria SyriaRussian jets bombed a military base of Al-Hamza Division, a group affiliated with the Turkish-backed National Army, in the village of Barad in Afrin, Syria. According to Al-Monitor, quoting local sources, six members of the National Army were killed, and 11 others were wounded.

Most of those who were killed hail from the eastern Ghouta area on the outskirts of Damascus. The newspaper confirmed that Russian reconnaissance planes had intensified their sorties before the raid. In recent days, Russia carried out many operations against Turkish-backed militias in different areas of Afrin.

The Russian airstrikes were not limited to the National Army areas in the countryside of Afrin but also hit large Idlib areas controlled by HTS. Al-Monitor confirms, noting that this escalation comes ahead of an upcoming meeting on Sept. 29 in the Russian city of Sochi between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Read | Turkey must withdraw immediately, Syrian Foreign Minister says

Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers landed at the Hmeimim airbase, located in the Syrian province of Latakia after Turkey began sending thousands of its troops and hundreds of armored vehicles, artillery pieces, and also air defense equipment in Syria.

The Russian media stressed that the bombers have to carry out tactical attacks on main centers of the pro-Turkish militias in the area and, if necessary, on the positions of the Turkish army. The Russian move follows Ankara’s attack on a group of Russian military helicopters the day before, in Tel Tamer, in northern Syria.

The two Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers flew from Russian territory through the airspace of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq to Syria. the aircraft will participate in attacks on the positions of the pro-Turkish militiamen. “Probably not only in the province of Idlib (north-west) but in the whole northern part of Syria, which in the last two days has been the target of attacks by Russian air forces fighters and bombers,” reads Avia.

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mikdad stressed last Thursday that the main reason driving the escalation of tensions in the north of Syrian territory, as in the north-western province of Idlib, is the “occupation” of Ankara, as well as his support for terrorist groups on the ground. In this context, the Syrian Foreign Ministry has asked for the immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops from its territory.

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