Turkish military operation in Idlib Governorate
From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
|Turkish military operation in Idlib Governorate|
|Part of the Turkish involvement in the Syrian Civil War, and the Russia–Turkey proxy conflict|
Turkish flags represent Turkish observation posts and other military installations as of 3 March 2020
Syrian National Army
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (sometimes)
|Hezbollah||Rouse the Believers Operations Room|
|Casualties and losses|
| 69–83 killed (67–81 soldiers, 2 civilian contractors)[note 1]|
The Turkish military operation in Idlib Governorate (Turkish: İdlib Harekâtı), also described as Idlib De-escalation Control Force activities (Turkish: İdlib Gerginliği Azaltma Kontrol Gücü faaliyetleri), is an operation by the Turkish Armed Forces which started in October 2017, following the earlier Operation Euphrates Shield. It is the third operation of the Turkish occupation of northern Syria, following Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Shah Euphrates.
The operation was launched following the 2017 Astana agreement and subsequent Sochi agreement between Turkey, Russia and Iran. Among other things, the two agreements contained provisions for the Turkish Armed Forces to set up and maintain 12 observation posts within rebel-held territories in the Idlib Governorate.
List of observation posts
|Location||Order of Construction||Date of Construction||Number designation per Turkish Army||Date of encirclement by SAA|
|Salva village near Al-Dana||1||13 October 2017||No. 1|
|Samaan village near Darat Izza||2||23 October 2017||No. 2|
|Aquil Mountain near Darat Izza||3||19 November 2017||No. 3||17 February 2020|
|Al-Eiss near Al-Hadher||4||5 February 2018||No. 6||8 February 2020|
|Tell Touqan||5||9 February 2018||No. 7||5 February 2020|
|Sarman||6||15 February 2018||No. 8||21 December 2019|
|Anadan||7||17 March 2018||No. 4||16 February 2020|
|Zaytuneh||8||3 April 2018||No. 12|
|Murak||9||7 April 2018||No. 9||22 August 2019|
|Rashidin in Western Aleppo||10||9 May 2018||No. 5||29 January 2020|
|Zawiyah (Sheir Maghar) in southern Idlib||11||14 May 2018||No. 10||27 February 2020|
|Ishtabrak in southwestern Idlib||12||16 May 2018||No. 11|
|Maar Hattat||13||20 August 2019||Unofficial||1 February 2020|
|South of Saraqib||14||30 January 2020||Unofficial||5-6 February 2020|
|North of Saraqib||15||30 January 2020||Unofficial||From 5–6 February until 27 February 2020|
From 1–2 March 2020
|East of Saraqib||16||1 February 2020||Unofficial|
|West of Saraqib near Tarnbah||17||2 February 2020||Unofficial||From 5–6 February until 27 February 2020|
|West of Saraqib near Msibin||18||2 February 2020||Unofficial|
|Taftanaz Military Airbase||19||6 February 2020||Unofficial|
|Between Idlib City and Saraqib||20||7 February 2020||Unofficial|
|Al-Mastumah||21[b]||8 February 2020||Unofficial|
|Maarat Al-Naasan ||22||10 February 2020||Unofficial||13-14 February 2020|
|Al-Jinah - Atareb ||23||11 February 2020||Unofficial|
|between Binnish and Taoum||24||12 February 2020||Unofficial|
|Deir Sunbul in Jabal Al-Zawiya ||25||14 February 2020||Unofficial|
|Kafr Karmin west of Aleppo||26||14 February 2020||Unofficial|
|West of Darat Izza||27||15 February 2020||Unofficial|
|Termanin ||28||14 February 2020||Unofficial|
|Al-Bardakly, between Sarmada and Al-Dana||29||17 February 2020||Unofficial|
|Nahlia village north of Ariha||30||17 February 2020||Unofficial|
|Mu'tarm west of Ariha||31||17 February 2020||Unofficial|
|Sarmin ||32||18 February 2020||Unofficial|
|Al Barah ||33||24 February 2020||Unofficial|
|South of Kansafra ||34||24 February 2020||Unofficial|
|Bassams ||35||24 February 2020||Unofficial|
|Kafr Nashe ||36||5 March 2020||Unofficial|
[c] observation posts in rebel-held territoriesWhite cells indicate currently functional official
Syrian Army following their constructionRed cells indicate official observation posts, which have been surrounded by the
Blue cells indicate currently functional unofficial military installations in rebel-held territories, which are not considered to be part of the 12 Idlib observation posts
Purple cells indicate unofficial military installations that have since been encircled by the Syrian Army
- For citations relating to observation posts and military installations constructed following the end of the original 12 post construction, as well as relating to the encirclement of various military installations, please see the timeline below.
- By this point, the Turkish army began to rapidly create many new military installations with various degrees of utilization. Due to the inherent difficulty in tracking the Turkish military's rapid construction, as well as the lack of reliable sources on each new post, some of the installations past this point may not be listed in this table, hence creating an incorrect order count from here onwards. The construction order following this note should be used only when comparing an installation to a previous one listed in the table, and not as an authoritative count on the number of posts. The latest source has listed a total of 35 military posts as of 17 February 2020.
- In this context, "official" is used to refer to the 12 Idlib observation posts agreed to in the Astana peace talks.
In February 2018 the Turkish military observation outposts were expanded in Northern and Southeastern Idlib. On the 6 of the same month a Turkish observation was attacked by rockets and mortars resulting in a Turkish soldier being killed and wounding 5 other Turkish servicemen. The attack was conducted by Militants per Middle East Eye.
On 22 May 2018, the Turkish army established the 12th and last military observation post in Idlib province amid risk of more tension with the Syrian Government and insurgent groups.
In late August 2019, the Turkish observation post at Murak was fully encircled by the Syrian Army after it captured a rebel pocket in the region. The Turkish government announced that it would not move or dismantle the post.
On 30 January, following the Syrian Army's capture of Ma'arrat al-Nu'man, the Turkish Army set up two more observation posts - just South and North of the town of Saraqib. It then established a third post to the east of the town on 1 February.
On 3 February, Syrian Army shelling killed seven Turkish soldiers and one civilian contractor. Seven soldiers were also wounded. The Turkish Army retaliated by targeting Syrian Army positions with artillery and howitzer fire, resulting in 13 dead.
On 5 February, the Syrian Army captured the village of Tell Touqan and thus encircled the Turkish observation post located there. It was not immediately made clear whether or not the post was placed under siege.
On 6 February, the Turkish Armed Forces established a new outpost at Taftanaz Military Airbase. It was reportedly targeted by the Syrian Air Force just hours after its establishment. The Syrian Army completely enrcircled the town of Saraqib, which hosts four unofficial TAF military installations.
On 8 February, the Turkish Armed Forces established yet another military post, this time located in the Al-Mastumah area between Idlib City and Ariha. A day after the Syrian Army began encircling the Turkish observation post at Al-Eiss, it managed to capture both the town and its corresponding hill after the rebel forces that previously controlled it withdrew following a three-pronged envelopment by government forces.
On 16 February, the Syrian Army shelled the Turkish military post at Shekh Aqil, reportedly injuring many Turkish soldiers.
On 17 February, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the Turkish military had established several more military posts, bringing the total number of official and unofficial Turkish military installations in Idlib up to 35.
On 20 February, 2 Turkish soldiers died and 5 were reported wounded while they were assaulting, along with their proxies, the town of Al-Nayrab.
On 26 February, 2 Turkish troops were killed and several others were reported wounded following a Syrian airstrike in Idlib province. The Syrian Army captured Deir Sunbul, besieging the nearby Turkish observation post stationed nearby in an area called Sheir Maghar.
On 27 February, at least 33 Turkish soldiers were killed by Syrian or Russian airstrikes. Rebel forces advanced on Saraqeb under the cover of Turkish missile fire, thus managing to recapture the town and lift the siege imposed on three of the four surrounding Turkish observation posts - to the north, west and south of the town. The eastern observation post remained surrounded by government forces.
On 28 February, one Turkish soldier died and six more were wounded in Syrian air and artillery strikes in Idlib.
On 5 May, Syrian forces destroyed a Turkish bulldozer with a missile in Al-Dweir checkpoint north of Saraqeb. A second bulldozer sent to retrieve the first was in turn destroyed by another missile, killing and wounding the drivers.
On 27 May, the Turkish Ministry of Defense announced the death of a Turkish soldier by a explosion in the Aleppo-Latakia Highway in northwestern Idlib. A convoy of Turkish military vehicles and opposition factions was targeted by a IED, Turkish helicopters evacuated the wounded to Al-Rayhaniyyah.
- Syrian government: An unnamed source at Syria's Foreign Ministry said, "The Turkish regime must abide by what was agreed in Astana."
- Rojava: “Any military operation led by Turkish forces in Afrin will fail as it would elicit a harsh and unexpected response,” Rezan Gilo, head of the Defense and Self-Protection Body of Afrin, told Kurdistan 24.
- Army of Revolutionaries: Ahmed Sultan, commander of the Army of Revolutionaries, accused Turkey of selling Idlib to the Syrian regime, Iran and Russia and called upon the people of Idlib to resist the planned Turkish, Iranian, and Russian intervention in Idlib.
- Tahrir al-Sham: The Tahrir al-Sham leadership stated that anyone supporting the intervention is committing treason.
- Russia: The head of the Russian delegation for the Astana talks, Alexander Lavrentyev, said that Russia was ready to act as a mediator between the Syrian government and Turkey regarding the situation in Idlib.
- United Nations: The UN's special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said the creation of a fourth de-escalation zone is a positive development.
- Turkish involvement in the Syrian Civil War
- Inter-rebel conflict during the Syrian Civil War
- "First Turkish military convoy enters Syria's Idlib". 7 October 2017 – via Reuters.
- "إجراء عسـ.ـكري ضخـ.ـم للجـ.ـيش التركي في إدلب". Soshals. 8 July 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
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- 1 killed (6 Feb. 2018), 1 killed (6 April 2019), 1 killed (28 June 2019), 58 killed (3 Feb.-5 March 2020; per Turkish President), 72 killed (3 Feb.-5 March 2020; per SOHR), 3 killed (18-19 March 2020), 1 killed (27 May 2020), 1 killed (5 June 2020), 1 killed (12 June 2020), total of 67–81 soldiers killed
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UN: Northwest Syria fighting displaces over 500,000 in 2 months
Turkey to keep military observation posts in Idlib, Syria
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- @Step_Agency (2020-02-24). "القوات التركية تنشئ ثلاث نقاط مراقبة جديدة بالقرب من بلدة البارة و جنوب بلدة كنصفرة و بلدة بسامس في ريف #إدلب الجنوبي " (Tweet) (in Arabic). Retrieved 2020-03-05 – via Twitter.
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