Turkey expresses concern to Russian envoy over attacks in northern Syria
Turkey has expressed concern to Russian officials in Ankara over attacks in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib and the operation zone of Turkish troops deployed in northern Syria.
Turkey conveyed its security concerns in the region after recent increasing attacks in northern Syria intensified in civilian areas, private broadcaster NTV reported on March 22. The meetings were held separately in the Foreign Ministry with Russian Ambassador to Ankara Aleksey Yerhov and at the headquarters of the Chief of General Staff with its military attaché.
These attacks threaten stability and security in areas identified as de-escalation zone according to an agreement between Russia and Turkey, Ankara reportedly told the Russian officials.
Meanwhile, the United States strongly condemned reported Assad regime artillery attacks and Russian airstrikes that killed civilians in western Aleppo and Idlib.
Reported artillery shelling on the Al-Atareb Surgical Hospital in western Aleppo killed several patients, including a child, and injured more than a dozen medical staff, Ned Price, the spokesperson of the U.S. State Department, said on March 22.
Additionally, Russian airstrikes struck Idlib near the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey, reportedly killing one civilian and putting access to much needed assistance at risk, said the statement.
“Bab al-Hawa remains the only U.N.-authorized humanitarian border crossing in Syria and remains the most efficient and effective way to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to approximately 2.4 million Syrians every month. Civilians, including civilian medical personnel and facilities, must never be the target of military action. This violence must stop – we reiterate our call for a nationwide ceasefire,” said the spokesperson.
Russia’s strike hit on March 2 oil refineries in al-Hamran near the Jarablus town and the village of Tarhin near al-Bab in eastern Aleppo in the Operation Euphrates Shield area. Russia hit the locations of the same oil refineries again one week later.