Turkish UAV strike(s) on Thursday destroyed Syrian Howitzers and rockets launchers and killed 21 soldiers in Idlib, Syria; The strike on Syrian soldiers came after two Turkish soldiers were killed on Thursday.
Hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan travelled to Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to discuss a ceasefire in the Idlib province (Syria), two Turkish soldiers were killed by Syrian government forces leading to a severe retaliation from the Turks.
In response, Turkey carried out a strike on the Syrians via an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV), killing 21 Syrian soldiers and destroying two Howitzer tanks and several rocket launchers. It’s reported that the exchange of casualties came prior to the official ceasefire announcement between Russia & Turkey that was to commence at midnight.
Speaking to the nature of the ceasefire, Galip Dalay, the IPC-Mercator fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs stated that “This deal isn’t designed to last, rather it is designed to fail – and I am afraid in the not too distant future. Any ceasefire arrangement in Idlib, unless it has a no-fly zone dimension, is bound to fail. Deals in the past never de-escalated. They merely froze the crisis until the next escalation.”
The ceasefire between Russia & Turkey comes after last week when both countries suffered military loss, most notably when over 30 Turkish soldiers were killed in a strike. While most reports indicate that Syria is responsible for that strike, others believe the Russians are to blame. Regardless, the Russians back the Assad regime while Turkey has been supporting the Syrian rebels throughout the Syrian civil war.
Idlib, the epicenter of recent conflict, is the last Syrian rebel stronghold.