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|
Turkish flags represent Turkish observation posts and other military installations as of 20 December 2020
Syrian National Army
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham
| Syrian Arab Republic|
Anti-ceasefire Hayat Tahrir al-Sham factions
|Casualties and losses|
| 78–92 killed (76–90 soldiers, 2 civilian contractors)[note 1]|
|197+ killed||4 killed|
The Turkish military operation in Idlib Governorate (Turkish: İdlib Harekâtı), code-named Idlib De-escalation Control Force activities (Turkish: İdlib Gerginliği Azaltma Kontrol Gücü faaliyetleri) by Turkey, is an operation by the Turkish Armed Forces which started in October 2017, following the earlier Operation Euphrates Shield. It is the third cross-border operation by the Turkish military, 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.
In February, the Turkish military observation outposts were expanded into northern and southeastern Idlib Governorate. On 6 February, a Turkish observation was attacked by rockets and mortars, killing a Turkish soldier and wounding five others.
On 22 May, the Turkish army established its twelfth and last military observation post in Idlib province.
Northwestern Syria offensive (April–August 2019)
In late August 2019, the Turkish observation post at Morek 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.
Northwestern Syria offensive (December 2019–March 2020)
On 30 January 2020, 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 2020, 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 encircled 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.
Operation Spring Shield
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.
Between 28 February and 6 March at least 165 Syrian soldiers and militiamen loyal to them were killed by Turkish Armed Forces in retaliation to Balyun airstrikes that killed at least 34 Turkish soldiers.
Ceasefire (March 2020–present)
On April 26, Turkish forces killed 4 fighters of Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham 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.
On 9 September, the Turkish Armed forces said that Brigadier General Sezgin Erdoğan died while on duty on Idlib, Syria. According to Turkish officials, Sezgin Erdoğan died in a hospital after falling ill.
On 19 October 2020, Turkey withdrew its military presence from its base at Morek, Hama Governorate.
List of observation posts
|List of observation posts|
|Location||Order of Construction||Date of Construction|
|Salva village near Al-Dana||1||13 October 2017|
|Samaan village near Darat Izza||2||23 October 2017|
|Aquil Mountain near Darat Izza||3||19 November 2017|
|Al-Eiss near Al-Hadher||4||5 February 2018|
|Tell Touqan||5||9 February 2018|
|Sarman||6||15 February 2018|
|Anadan||7||17 March 2018|
|Zaytuneh||8||3 April 2018|
|Morek||9||7 April 2018|
|Rashidin in Western Aleppo||10||9 May 2018|
|Zawiyah (Sheir Maghar) in southern Idlib||11||14 May 2018|
|Ishtabrak in southwestern Idlib||12||16 May 2018|
|Maar Hattat||13||20 August 2019|
|Taftanaz Military Airbase||19||February 2020|
|Maarat al-Naasan||20||February 2020|
|Maarrat Misrin||21||February 2020|
|Kafr Karmin||23||February 2020|
|Al-Fawj 111||25||February 2020|
|Camp al-Mastumah||26||February 2020|
|Darat Izza||29||February 2020|
|Nabi Ayyub||34||February 2020|
|Ram Hamdan (2)||46||2020|
|Ram Hamdan (3)||51||2020|
|Ram Hamdan (4)||56||2020|
|al-Nabi al-Nabi Ayyub||60||2020|
|Tell al-Nabi Ayyub||64||2020|
Official observation posts
Unofficial observation posts
Observation posts that Turkey has withdrawn from
- Syrian government: An unnamed source at Syria's Foreign Ministry said, "The Turkish regime must abide by what was agreed in Astana."
- 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.
- 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 occupation of northern Syria
- Turkish involvement in the Syrian civil war
- Inter-rebel conflict during the Syrian Civil War
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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), 1 killed (6 Sep. 2020), 1 killed (9 Sep. 2020), 1 killed (3 Feb. 2021), 1 killed (11 May 2021), 3 killed (11 Sept. 2021)  2 killed (15 Oct. 2021)  total of 76–90 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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