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Turkish MLRS T-122 Sakarya.
Illustration: dailysabah.com

Turkish artillery increasingly violates the ceasefire in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, established on March 6 according to the agreements of Russia and Turkey. Since early April, the Turkish military has several times fired at positions of government troops on the territory of the base of the 46th regiment of the Syrian Armed Forces west of Aleppo. This strategic facility is adjacent to the stronghold of the militants – the city of Atareb. Therefore, Ankara and the militants of the “National Liberation Front” NFO), which it supports, conduct almost daily shelling in this direction, the Military Observer portal reports today, April 6.

Illustration: warsonline.info

On the eve of a group of militants tried to penetrate the territory of the base and was fired upon by the Syrian military from heavy machine guns and automatic weapons. In response, the Turkish multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) opened fire on them. Several rockets exploded at the base. According to the Syrian command, there were no losses. The Islamists themselves report that the shelling was from the firing position of the Turkish military.

Turkish howitzers and MLRS opened fire on the base of the 46th Regiment also on April 2 and 3.

Much indicates that Ankara is carefully preparing for a possible resumption of hostilities in the north-west of the Arab Republic, where a ceasefire is currently generally being respected. Over the past month since the establishment of the “silence regime”, the Turkish military regrouped both its forces and the NFO militants supported by them, deployed hundreds of additional armored vehicles, howitzers, MLRS and other strike weapons in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo.

At the same time, Ankara’s mission to withdraw all “irreconcilable” Islamist militants from the southern regions of the Idlib front, assigned to it by Russian-Turkish agreements of March 5, was actually frustrated. To the south of the M-4 highway (Aleppo-Latakia), along which a security corridor should be created in the Idlib de-escalation zone, terrorists remain, in particular the Islamic Party of Turkestan (banned in Russia).

Recall that Russia and Turkey, following the results of the six-hour talks on March 5 in Moscow, agreed to establish a new ceasefire regime in the Idlib de-escalation zone, which entered into force on 01 March local time. Russia and Turkey are creating a six-kilometer-wide security corridor north and south of the M-4 highway in the northwest of the Arab Republic. It was also agreed on March 15 to begin joint patrolling of the Russian and Turkish military along the section of the indicated route from the settlement of Trumba (two kilometers west of the city of Sarakib) to the village of Ain al-Khabr. The relevant agreement is framed in the form of an additional protocol to the Sochi memorandum of defense ministers of Russia and Turkey of September 17, 2018.