Sat 21 Sep 2019

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Observation Post in Idlib Bombarded by Assad Forces, Turkish Ministry of Defense States

A Turkish helicopter hovering above the observation pots in Shair al-Maghar after its evacuation of wounded Turkish soldiers in northern rural Hama – (Enab Baladi)

A Turkish helicopter hovering above the observation pots in Shair al-Maghar after its evacuation of wounded Turkish soldiers in northern rural Hama – (Enab Baladi)

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Turkey has declared the shelling of one of its observation pots in rural Hama by the Assad forces, which rendered several of its soldiers wounded.

In a statement issued today, Thursday (June 13), the Turkish Ministry of Defense said that Assad forces positioned in the al-Sharia area, al-Ghab Plain, have attacked with 35 mortar shells the observation post no. 10, located in rural Hama.

The Ministry has also stressed that the bombing has resulted in the injury of three Turkish soldiers, in addition to partial damage that befell a few facilities and equipment.

Enab Baladi’s correspondent for rural Hama reported that the Assad forces located at the al-Kareem Checkpoint, west of Hama, have bombarded with mortar shells the Turkish observation post, set up in the area of Shair al-Maghar, which caused a fire within the post.

The correspondent has also confirmed a Turkish military convoy’s arrival in the area to evacuate the injured.

The Turkish Ministry of Defense stressed that necessary measures have been adopted with Russia concerning the attack, pointing out that t is closely watching the situation in the area.

The Shair al-Maghar observation post, Shashabo mountain, has been subjected to an artillery shelling more than once, particularly upon the Assad forces arrival to its western borders through taking over al-Hawaiz town.

On September 17, 2018, Turkey sealed an agreement with Russia in Sochi, providing for the establishment of a demilitarized zone between the opposition-held areas and those controlled by the Syrian regime in Idlib.

The area is 15 kilometers deep in Idlib and 20 kilometers in al-Ghab Plain, western rural Hama. Under the agreement, the departure of the radical factions from the area agreed upon was also necessitated.

Starting early in 2018, the Turkish Army began establishing what has mounted to 12 observation points in Idlib, under the provisions of the “de-escalation” agreement.

This corresponded to Russia’s declaration of reaching a pacification in the rural parts of Idlib and Hama under the auspice of Turkey, starting at midnight sharp on June 12.

“Initiated by the Russian side and under a Russian and Turkish auspice, a deal has been reached, providing for an ultimate ceasefire in the full range of Idlib starting at 12 am on June 12,” the Chief of Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria Major General Viktor Kupchishin said yesterday.

Despite the pacification, the Syrian regime’s air forces have intensified the shelling of Idlib and rural Hama, focusing on the cities and towns of the area’s southern rural parts, including Khan Shaykhun, Kafar Sijnah and Ehsim, as reported by Enab Baladi’s correspondent.

On May 22, Hulusi Akar, the Turkish Minister of Defense, stated that his country will not withdraw its forces from Idlib governorate in the shadow of the military escalation, with which Assad Forces are targeting the area.

“The Turkish Armed Forces will not retreat from where it is located,” Akar added.

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