Syrian Army fires artillery at rebel positions in As-Suwayda province (Photo Credit: Syrian Arab Army)

The Syrian army on Monday carried out an artillery missile attack on positions of terrorists from the Jabhat al-Nusrah terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) nearly the city of Tell Afis in the Idlib governorate, the Al Masdar news portal reported.

The news portal reported that the Syrian military command has repeatedly warned that it would not tolerate terrorist groups gathering in the area.

According to the Syrian military, attempts to create an outpost in Tell Afis and deployment of additional forces there poses a threat to pro-government troops stationed in the south and east of Idlib. Besides, Damascus believes that terrorists’ attempts to reinforce their positions in Tell Afis is in breach of the March 5 ceasefire agreement for the northern de-escalation zone.

According to Al Masdar, the Syrian artillery also shelled positions of militants from the Turkistan Islamic Party – an Islamic extremist organization founded by Uyghur jihadists in China. Earlier, they had repeatedly shelled civilian settlements in Idlib and Hama, which are under protection of Syrian servicemen.

On Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Turkish actions in northern Syria continued to encroach on the country’s sovereignty. Al-Assad stressed that Turkey continues its occupation of Syria’s northern regions, increasing the number “of what it calls observation points which are actually military bases.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Turn, announced on Monday that his country would resist Syria’s actions, which he says were aimed at disrupting the ceasefire in Idlib.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan approved a ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib province and other measures aimed to regulate the situation in the region during the talks in Moscow on March 5. All hostilities in Idlib must be stopped on the entire line of contact starting March 6, the declaration signed on the outcomes of the meeting informs. Starting March 15, Russia and Turkey began joint patrolling on the M4 motorway in Syria, along which they created a security corridor. Moscow and Ankara have confirmed their commitment to maintaining Syria’s sovereignty, agreeing to continue the decisive fight against terrorism.

Source: TASS, April 21, 2020