Russian airstrikes did not help Syrian army to retake Nayrab from Turkish forces

The many airstrikes carried out by the Russian Aerospace Forces have not helped the Syrian government forces to regain control over the village of Nayrab in the Idlib province after fierce fighting with the pro-Turkish armed opposition, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports.

According to the organization, on February 24, the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out their first airstrikes against Nayrab in northern Syria, south-east of Aleppo, several hours after opposition forces captured the village.

There have also been reports of attacks near the highland Jabal Al-Zawiya region in western Idlib. Russia’s Aerospace Forces have reportedly carried out about 87 airstrikes in the northern province. Airstrikes have also been documented in the provinces of Latakia and Hama. A total of 137 attacks were counted in one day in the three provinces.

The fighting for Nayrab began on the evening of February 24 and ended on the morning of February 25. As a response measure, Turkish forces launched several artillery attacks against Syrian regime positions.

On February 24, the TV channel Al Arabiya reported fierce clashes between opposition and government forces after the Turkish military and the Syrian armed opposition attacked Syrian army positions in Nayrab. According to the TV channel, the Turkish army carried out a ground operation.

On February 20, the Syrian opposition, with support from the Turkish army, began a large-scale offensive in Idlib, and breached the Syrian army’s defenses in Nayrab. With assistance from the Russian Aerospace Forces, the Syrian army was able to repel these attacks.

Between January and February, the Syrian army captured nearly half of the Idlib de-escalation zone, leaving the Turkish observation points behind it. Ankara was outraged by the advancement of regime forces. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that, if the Syrian troops have not withdrawn by the end of February, the Turkish army will begin a military operation. Russia, which supports Damascus’s actions in Idlib, has tried to resolve the conflict through negotiations, but the two sides have been unable to reach an agreement.

  Nayrab, Syria, Turkey