Turkish strikes in Syria
1 the USA
The radio »Voice of America» quoted the Pentagon chief Mark Esper as saying that he did not see an escalation of the situation in Syria due to the clash between the US military and the locals. As a result of a clash near the village of Harbat-Hamo, in the province of Hasakah, a teenager died. Another person was injured. The head of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria, Yuri Borenkov, said that the conflict occurred after a convoy of US troops, that deviated from the route, was stopped by the Syrian government forces. «There was a conflict. As a result — the US military opened fire on the civilians» — Yuri Borenkov explained. “Only thanks to the efforts of the Russian troops that arrived at the scene of the incident — it was possible to prevent a further escalation of the conflict with the local residents” — Yuri Borenkov underlined. The Russian servicemen also provided «an exit for the US convoy in the direction of their base near the village of Khimo, in the province of Hasakah».
The ‘Sabah’ newspaper reports, while citing the Turkish General Staff, that the Turkish forces launched rocket attacks on a number of Syrian army positions west of Aleppo. The attacks were carried out from MLRS on Wednesday. As a result, 55 Syrian troops were neutralized. The type of the targets of the attack wasn’t specified. Earlier, the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced that Ankara is determined to push the Syrian troops away from the Turkish observation posts in the Syrian province of Idlib until the end of February. He also mentioned that in case of an attack on the Turkish military — Turkey will retaliate against the positions of the Syrian troops «even outside the territories, stipulated in the ‘Sochi memorandum’ «.
3 the USA
Negotiations were held between the US Special Representative for Syria, James Jeffrey, and the official representative of the President of Turkey, Ibragim Kalyn, on Wednesday, in Ankara — the ‘CNN Turk’ reports. During the meeting, James Jeffrey declared the inadmissibility of the attacks on the Turkish observation posts, located in the de-escalation zone in the Idlib province. Ibragim Kalyn, in his turn, announced the Ankara’s determination to protect the Turkish military, and the civilians in Idlib. The Syrian Foreign Ministry stated that the presence of the Turkish troops on Syrian territory is illegal, «and it is a blatant violation of the international law». Ankara «bears the full responsibility for the consequences of this presence». The SANA news agency quoted the text of the statement.
4 the USA
The US State Department Special Representative for Syria, James Jeffrey, announced that Washington is considering the options of helping Turkey in Idlib, within the NATO limitations. “The transfer of the intelligence data to the Turkish military, and the supply of the military equipment has the paramount importance» — James Jeffrey said during an interview to the NTV. At the same time he underlined that the dispatch of the US military to the conflict zone has not yet been planned.
A spokesman for the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, announced that the Syrian forces, deployed in Idlib, are fighting the terrorists in their country. He noted that so far there is no reason to «talk about a direct US intervention in this conflict». “In any case, it’s not about the conflict. It’s about the fulfillment of the Sochi agreements, and the obligations that the parties assumed in accordance with this document. It is about the fight against the terrorism, which the Syrian armed forces are doing in their country» — Peskov underlined.