Turkey reported the neutralization of 320 Syrian soldiers in Idlib

The Turkish Ministry of Defence has reported the neutralization of 327 Syrian soldiers in Idlib in the past 24 hours during Operation Spring Shield.

Turkey reported the neutralization of 320 Syrian soldiers in Idlib

“In the last 24 hours, during Operation Spring Shield (launched on 27 February in Idlib), one plane, one drone was shot down, six tanks, five howitzers, two air defense systems, three armored personnel carriers, five armed pickup trucks, six military vehicles and one ammunition depot were destroyed and 327 Syrian regime soldiers were neutralized”, – the agency’s website reported.

The situation in Idlib escalated after Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorists launched a large-scale attack on Syrian Government positions on 27 February. The Syrian army returned fire. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the shelling included Turkish soldiers who should not have been there.

As a result, 36 Turkish military men were killed. Immediately after receiving information about the Turkish military casualties, the Russian side took measures for a complete ceasefire by Syrian troops, and safe evacuation of the dead and wounded to Turkey was ensured. The Russian Defense Ministry stressed that Russian aviation was not used in the area.

Earlier Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Turkey was unable to fulfill several key obligations to solve the problems around Syrian Idlib. In particular, it did not distinguish the armed opposition, which is ready for a dialogue with the government as part of the political process, from terrorists. Thus, the Russian-Turkish memorandum of 18 September 2018, agreed upon at a meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan, spoke of maintaining the status quo in the presence of the Turkish military, but subject to the de-escalation of all terrorist radical groups from the Idlib zone by 15 October 2018. It was also stipulated that “effective measures will be taken to ensure a sustainable cessation of hostilities” within the zone. Paragraph seven of the memorandum provided for joint Russian-Turkish patrols in the area.

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