Turkish Drone Kills Two Tahrir al-Sham Militants in Idlib

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Posted in category Eurasia, Middle Orient
Comments Off on Turkish Drone Kills Two Tahrir al-Sham Militants in Idlib

Two members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) were killed on Sunday and three others were injured after Turkish drones targeted a car they were driving in Al-Nayrab town in the eastern countryside of Idlib, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

This incident follows attacks launched by HTS on Turkish posts in Al-Nayrab area as a response to the killing of four protestors, including HTS members, participating in Al-Karama sit-in held on the M4 highway.

SOHR sources reported that on Sunday morning, Turkish forces later destroyed most of the tents in the area where “Al-Karama sit-in” was held, in order to conduct joint patrols with Russian forces on the M4.

It said a military group of the Turkish army removed soil barriers near Al-Nayrab town in eastern Idlib and they fired tear gas, while the protesters responded by pelting Turkish soldiers with stones.

The M4 highway, which runs east-west through Idlib province, is part of a ceasefire agreement between Turkey and Russia signed in early March.

Protesters, affiliated to the “Salvation Government” and to fighters of militant groups, had erected tents and held a sit-in in the area against this agreement.

SOHR activists reported hearing explosions and heavy gunfire in the area. The Observatory confirmed that the two sides exchanged fire with heavy machineguns along with shells hitting Turkish posts nearby Al-Nayrab. Meanwhile, Turkish reconnaissance drones were monitored flying over the area.

“Turkish officers tried to convince the protesters to open the road to allow four Russian cars to enter the area. However, the protesters refused, forcing the Turkish army to intrude the area and fire tear gas and live bullets,” Abdulaziz Ziad, an activist from Al-Karama sit-in, told the German news agency on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Shaam network quoted local sources as saying that Turkish Bayraktar drones targeted an HTS mortar launcher and an anti-tear base near the village of Al-Nayrab.

Sources with knowledge of the matter said that several attempts were initiated on Sunday evening to diffuse tension between the two sides, particularly that this is the first military confrontation between Turkish forces and HTS’s Al-Nusra.

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