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What Happened Over the Weekend

A Turkish soldier killed in Idleb, opposition forces attack checkpoint, no coronavirus in Syria and Turkey closes airspace to Russian planes. Catch up on everything that happened over the weekend.
What Happened Over the Weekend

1. On Saturday, a Turkish soldier was killed in an attack by Syrian regime forces in the northern Idleb region, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Twitter. According to Zaman Al-Wasl, Turkey retaliated to the attack with full force and 21 regime targets were heavily hit and destroyed. “The blood of our martyrs has never gone to waste and it never will. We wish Allah’s mercy and grace for our hero soldier. We convey our deepest condolences to the family of the martyr and to the Turkish Armed Forces and our noble nation,” the Defense Ministry said, according to the Anadolu Agency. At least 16 Turkish soldiers have been killed in northern Syria this month amid a crushing offensive by Bashar al-Assad’s forces, which seeks to recapture remaining opposition-held areas in the region.

2. Turkey has prevented four Russian military aircrafts, including two bombers, from crossing its airspace to Syria. Field sources knowledgeable about the Russian Hemeimeem Airbase, revealed on Thursday that the Russian forces brought in military reinforcements to the airbase, in an indication that battles may intensify in north-western Syria. The sources revealed to Al-Quds Al-Araby the arrival of heavy shipments of modern Russian tanks and missile launchers, heavy artillery and anti-armour missiles, in addition to shipments of bombs and missiles used by Russian strategic bombers and fighters, as well as the bombs used by Sukhoi aircraft of various categories.

3. Syrian opposition forces stormed three security checkpoints in central Homs province overnight, leaving dozen killed and wounded, local sources told Zaman Al-Wasl. The Military Intelligence outposts in the town of Talbiseh came under fire from rebel groups in the northern countryside of Homs. Casualties were ambulanced to the Military Hospital in Homs city.

4. The Ministry of Health reiterated that no cases of coronavirus have been registered in Syria. In response to rumors circulated on social media pages about coronavirus, the Ministry’s media office assured everyone that all news and updates about this disease in Syria will be published by SANA. The office reiterated that no coronavirus cases have been registered in Syria to date.

5. Turkey’s defense ministry said on Thursday that two of its soldiers were killed and five wounded following an airstrike in Idleb province, northern Syria, where the Turkish military is carrying out operations to recapture territory from the Syrian regime. The ministry, according to Al-Araby al-Jadeed, added that as many as 50 Syrian regime fighters were killed, and that it destroyed five tanks, two armored personnel carriers and a howitzer artillery launcher in Idleb. Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said the strikes on Turkish forces were carried out by the Syrian regime forces. However activists on the ground had earlier reported that the jet that carried out the strike was Russian. Analysts have also used maps and imaging techniques to claim the strike came from a Russian plane.


This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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