On Monday, Syrian regime artillery hit the village of al-Mastouma near a Turkish observation point, in a new violation of the Russian-Turkish ceasefire, which may erupt into clashes and burst the last rebel stronghold in northern Syria, local activists said.
At least 15 artillery shells hit the area surrounding the Turkish outpost, and the provocation pushed Ankara to send more reinforcements to Idleb where hundreds of Turkish soldiers supported by tanks and artillery are still pouring into western Idleb region.
Anadolu Agency said Monday that Bashar al-Assad’s forces had violated the agreement 15 times.
The regime, which continued the violations Saturday and Sunday, engaged in harassment fire with a machine guns on a Turkish military convoy transporting supplies.
Elements of the regime also fired three mortar shells near another unit.
On Sunday, regime forces were determined to advance to points in Kafr Nabl village, a buffer zone south of Idleb, with two tanks, two armored personnel carriers and many militia convoys.
Turkey launched Operation Spring Shield on Mar. 1, 2020, after at least 34 Turkish soldiers were martyred in late February in an Assad regime airstrike in Idleb. Under a 2018 deal with Russia, Turkish troops were in Idleb to protect civilians from attacks by the regime and its allies.
On Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed in Moscow to a new ceasefire in Idleb.
The conflict in Syria has killed more than 560,000 people and displaced 6.5 million.
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.