Russian warplanes carried out more than a dozen airstrikes in northwest Syria on Tuesday, opposition activists said, hours after a roadside landmine hit a joint Russian-Turkish patrol in the area wounding three Russian soldiers and an unspecified number of Turkish troops. Qaeda repeats its Iraq terror against Russian troops in Syria today.
No word on any civilian casualties as a result of Russian bombing.
During the Iraq war, Iran, using al-Qaeda as a proxy, built the IED’s and assisted in attacking U.S. troops. Behind that strategy was General Qassem Suleimani who perished from a U.S. drone strike on January 3, 2020.
The Russian military said the mine attack happened while Russian and Turkish troops were patrolling the M4 highway. The highway stretches across Idlib in the de-escalation zone.
Russia and Turkey have been conducting regular patrols in Idlib province. The M4 highway links Syria’s coast with the Iraqi border to the east.
The Russian military evacuated the wounded Russian soldiers to its base at Hemeimem. It added that their lives weren’t in danger.
TURKISH SOLDIERS WOUNDED
A Turkish armored vehicle that was taking part in the patrol was also damaged. The blast wounded Turkish soldiers as well. No word from Turkey how many Turkish servicemen were involved.
Later on Tuesday, Russian warplanes carried out more than a dozen airstrikes on rebel-held parts of Idlib that have witnessed relative calm since early March. Turkey and Russia had brokered a cease-fire that stopped a crushing government offensive that left hundreds dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.
Activists on the ground reported 18 Russian airstrikes following the blast. The activists said government forces shelled the rebel-held town of Ariha wounding five people.
Hadi Abdullah, an Idlib-based activist, said Russian warplanes attacked areas in Idlib province and rebel-held parts of the coastal province of Latakia.
Idlib is home to some 3 million people, many of them internally displaced. It is the stronghold of al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham., the most powerful group in the region.
The area is also home to extremist groups opposing the cease-fire both Russia and Turkey reached in March. Turkey backs Syrian rebels while Russia has joined the war in 2015 tipping the balance of power in favor of the Assad oppression, which is cementing al-Qaeda and its terror in Syria.
AP contributed to this article.