The Syrian army has advanced considerably in the direction of the Turkish border during the attack on Monday, reports Reuters. The Agency refers to the communications of insurgents, local residents and observers. According to these data, the Syrian forces and their allies among the Iranian militias are now about 25 km from the border with Turkey. Turkish authorities have protested against the actions of Russia, support the attack from the air.
Key role in a ground operation was played by the militias from Iran, writes Reuters. At the same time, according to the Agency, intensified the air strikes, strikes of Russian aviation. The rebels call this tactic of scorched earth, which allowed the army of Bashar al-Assad to gain a foothold in a strategically important area for the first time in more than two years.
“At risk is our entire life, it’s not just about the loss of territory, said Abdul Rahim al-Didavi, the representative of one of the rebel groups. — They [the Syrian army] are moving, and we move away, because in the face of such serious bombing we must minimize our losses.”
The Russian defense Ministry has repeatedly stressed that the aim of air strikes are only the positions of the “Islamic state” (IG, banned in Russia as a terrorist organization) and other terrorists. In turn, Turkey and Western politicians have declared that the victims of the attacks are fighting with Assad rebels and civilians.
Now government forces are five kilometers from the rebel-held town of tal-Repeat. Thus, from the Turkish border they are separated by 25 km. according to Reuters, the attack on the North by Aleppo provoked the flight of tens of thousands of people in Turkey. Ankara has already received more than 2.5 million Syrians.
The Agency also notes that the advancement of forces of Damascus had allowed the army to cover the main route that connects the militia-held areas to the North and East of Aleppo.
On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, commenting on the successful offensive of the army of Syria, near Aleppo, criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin. “What are you doing in Syria? You, in fact, are the occupier” — appealed to Putin Erdogan. The Turkish leader also stressed that the national security forces of the country “ready for all possible scenarios”.
Last week, under the control of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces broke through the defensive line of the rebels North of Aleppo. They managed to cut the road that links the city to the border of Turkey. After that, the Western media has admitted that the Syrian army will take Aleppo in the ring and take control of the city, fights over which have been ongoing for several years.
A number of Western countries have called offensive near Aleppo, the postponement of negotiations on the Syrian settlement in Geneva at the end of February. French foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said about their failure, and has condemned the “brutal attack of the Syrian regime, with Russian support, to encircle and strangle Aleppo”.
The U.S. state Department in turn called the Russian air force strikes near Aleppo one of the factors of transfer negotiations. “It is extremely difficult to understand how attacks on civilian targets in any way contribute to the peace process that is being decided now”, — explained in Washington, stressing that the U.S. authorities did not impose on Russia the full responsibility for the suspension.