Turkey and Russia intensify bombing in Syria, while media attention focuses on Israel

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Turkey and Russia, which support opposing factions in the Syrian war, have intensified bombing in recent days in the north of the country, coinciding with the attack by the Islamist group Hamas in Israel and its response in Gaza. The Bashar al Assad regime and its main ally on the ground, Russia, have bombed the Syrian province of Idlib since last Thursday, causing at least 42 civilian deaths, 12 of them minors. This is the largest attack in this territory since 2019.

Idlib is the last province dominated by opponents of Damascus and is under the control of the Islamist group Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS), a militia formerly allied with Al Qaeda, which split from the jihadist group after it renounced terrorist attacks as a means of combat. Apart from the militias, more than two million civilians also live on this land, most of them displaced from other parts of the country, who survive in very precarious conditions due to the attacks and blockade of the regime but also due to the economic crisis suffered by the country. country.

According to Syrian Emergency Response Coordinator Mohammed Hallaj, the Syrian army and Russia carried out attacks “from ground and air against 61 civilian settlements within the borders of Idlib”. Hallaj assured that weapons prohibited by international law were used, causing the death of 42 civilians and wounding more than 200. The bombing has displaced thousands of people north towards the border with Turkey, being the largest attack since Ankara , which supports Syrian militias opposed to Assad, and Moscow will sign a new ceasefire at the end of 2019.

“Regime forces have launched artillery against public administration buildings, hospitals, markets, schools and parks throughout the Idlib region,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), based in London but with researchers deployed on the terrain. Among the buildings hit was the largest hospital in the province. “These attacks will only worsen the very serious humanitarian situation in northwest Syriawhere more than four million people depend on international aid to survive,” said the NGO Care, which works together with the United Nations in this territory. The attack comes days after a military academy of the Syrian army in Homs was bombed. , causing the death of eleven soldiers. Damascus attributes the attack to opposition forces but at the moment it has not been claimed by any group.

For its part, Turkey has intensified bombings against Syrian Kurdish militias in territories near its border. The Turkish government considers these militias “terrorist groups” affiliated with the Kurdish guerrilla operating in Turkey, the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The Turkish Government assures that the attacks are a response to the suicide attack that took place in Ankara on October 1, coinciding with the restart of legislative activity in the Turkish Parliament after the summer. The attack was claimed by the PKK, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims that the perpetrators of the coup came from Syria. The Turkish leader threatened a new military offensive in the north of the neighboring country to create a 30-kilometer-deep pocket along the border with Turkey, which would be under the control of Ankara.

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