Turkey Launches New Offensives in Syria’s Idlib Province

At least 48 Syrian troops killed on Saturday

Throughout Sunday and into Monday, Turkey has launched a flurry of airstrikes against the Syrian military in Idlib Province, and new ground offensives aiming to reclaim territory in the border province, to expel the Syrian government and ultimately replace it with Turkish-backed rebels.

Turkish officials have vowed to continue to move against Syria, and have promised to move against any Syrian government targets as legitimate military targets. On Saturday, 48 Syrian soldiers were killed. Turkey subsequently downed a pair of aircraft.

Syria has responded by closing the Idlib Province’s airspace, and seems set to continue to contest control of the territory. For Syria, any successful control necessarily will require the support of Russia.

Turkey has warned Russia and demanded that Syria give up the region to the rebels, while Russia has similarly warned Turkey that they risk escalating the situation out of control in trying to reinstall Islamist groups in Idlib. Syria, for its part, plainly isn’t going to let the parts of Idlib along their vital M5 highway fall without a major fight.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.