Turkey “strongly” condemned an air strike on its military convoy heading through Syria’s Idlib province on Aug. 19. Defense officials said that the attack was undertaken by the “regime forces” and was a violation of agreements with Russia.
“Despite repeated warnings we made to the authorities of the Russian Federation, the military operations by the regime forces continue in Idlib region in violation of the existing memorandums and agreements with the Russian Federation,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement, adding that Russia had been told in advance about the convoy.
The ministry said “regime forces” were behind the attack, which it said had killed three civilians and wounded 12.
The Turkish convoy was attacked en route to one of its observation posts at 8.55 a.m., according to the ministry statement. Turkey has 12 observation posts in and on the edge of Idlib as part of an agreement reached with Russia.
The attack killed three civilians and wounded 12 others, according to the Defense Ministry.
“In the face of these ongoing operations in violation of all memorandums and agreements threatening the supply route to the Turkish Observation Point No. 9, a deployment of our forces was started on August 19, 2019 at 5.30 a.m. with advance information supplied to the Russian Federation, in order to keep the supply routes open, to ensure the safety of our observation post and to prevent further loss of civilian / innocent lives in the region,” it said.
“We strongly condemn this attack which contradicts the existing agreements, cooperation and dialogue with the Russian Federation. Without prejudice to our rights to self-defense, we expect the necessary measures to be taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents,” the ministry added.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack was carried out by Syrian and Russian air forces, and was aimed at hindering the convoy’s advance through Idlib province.
Idlib is supposed to be protected from a massive government offensive by a Turkish-Russian deal struck in September last year.
The Damascus regime denounced the convoy’s crossing over from Turkey.
Since late April, Syria and Russia have upped their bombardment of the Idlib region of some 3 million people, killing more than 860 civilians.