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Putin furious with Erdogan, but will he stop Turkey’s war in Syria? (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 488.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the meeting in Moscow between Russian President Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan.

Erdogan made many outrageous claims, including that Turkey had killed over 2,500 Syrian troops during fighting in Idlib’s surrounding areas…a claim which is ridiculous on its face, and exposes how out of touch the Turkish leader is when it comes to this reckless invasion of Syrian sovereignty.


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Via Al Jazeera…

Turkish forces downed a fighter jet flown by Syrian government forces over southern Idlib on Tuesday as a strategic town in northwest Syria fell under the control of President Bashar al-Assad’s military.

It was the third such shoot-down in three days after Turkey hit two other Syrian aircraft on Sunday.

“Turkish regime forces targeted one of our warplanes, which led to its fall in the northwest area of Maarat al-Numan,” Syrian state media reported.

On Twitter, the Turkish defence ministry confirmed the news, saying “an L-39 plane belonging to the [Syrian] regime has been downed”.

Meanwhile, Syrian government forces overnight took over the key city of Saraqeb, which lies at the junction of the M4 and M5 commercial highways that connect the country’s major cities.

Saraqeb has changed hands twice in the last month, but a dramatic escalation in fighting over the past few days saw armed opposition groups retreat to the villages of Nairab and Afis in the west, as Syrian government forces – under cover of Russian air power – secured the city.

Rashwan Abu Hamza, a field commander in Saraqeb belonging to one of the rebel groups, told Al Jazeera the battle against al-Assad’s forces intensified on Monday night.

“Regime forces began to advance into the city at 2am and an hour later entered the neighbourhoods and began combing them,” Abu Hamza said. “The shelling from Russian warplanes escalated and forced us to withdraw west of the city.”

At 4am (01:00 GMT) on Tuesday, Saraqeb was under the full control of the Syrian forces, he said, but added a counteroffensive was imminent.

‘Operation Spring Shield’

Since December, al-Assad’s forces intensified their offensive to take control of Idlib province, the last rebel stronghold in Syria where Turkey backs some opposition fighters.

The operation has resulted in the internal displacement of nearly one million Syrians, the majority fleeing to the Turkish border, and killed at least 300 civilians.

Under the 2018 Sochi agreement with Russia, which designated Idlib as a de-escalation zone, Turkey set up several observation points throughout the province, but incurred heavy losses as Syrian forces targeted its troops.

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Olivia Kroth
March 5, 2020

Thank you for this interesting video, Alex and Alexander. ❤️ ????❤️

SteveK9
SteveK9
March 5, 2020

It would be interesting to have a military expert analyze whether Syria could retake all of Idlib. Would they need to take every little village simultaneously, or simply drive toward Idlib City? I don’t know if taking Idlib slowly is going to be any more acceptable to Erdogan. If you are going to offend him to whatever degree, by taking Idlib, it won’t matter when. On the other hand, maybe this exercise is convincing him that he does not have the military power that he thinks he does.

peter mcloughlin
March 5, 2020

Can the parties stop Idlib becoming the cause of World War Three?
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

JanetC
March 5, 2020

Great analysis Alex and Alexander!

ManintheMoon
ManintheMoon
March 5, 2020

Interesting analysis – particularly the insight about Shoigu and Peskov wanting to draw Turkey into Russia’s sphere of operation. This was new to me. However, all this is now needs to be seen in the light of the latest ceasefire agreement. What is Putin playing at if the Turkish position is that weak? Is he giving Erdogan a figleaf for backing down or bending to the Shoigu-Peskov faction? Or giving the Syrians time to reorganise? He and Erdogan certainly put on a show of chumminess. It is all very confusing. We need an update asp, Alexander and Alex!

oldandjaded
Reply to  ManintheMoon
March 6, 2020

You need to read Brzezinski’s 1995 book, “The Grand Chessboard”. You really can’t understand ANYTHING that’s going on between NATO, Erdogan, and the Russia/China/Iran triumvirate if you don’t understand that Turkey is the lynchpin in shifting the regional balance of power. This is why neither power is willing to call Erdogan out for stealing Greece’s natural gas reserves, and this is why Putin treats him relatively gently. This is also the secondary reason (primary being to slow the momentum of the Russia/China alliance, its too late for that one) WHY Trump wanted detente with Russia, it would have gone a… Read more »

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