Turkey Enhances Positions in Northwest Syria after Talks with Russia

Soldiers of the Russian military police and the Turkish military during a joint patrol of the M4 highway in Idlib (Russian Defense Ministry)
Soldiers of the Russian military police and the Turkish military during a joint patrol of the M4 highway in Idlib (Russian Defense Ministry)
TT

Turkey Enhances Positions in Northwest Syria after Talks with Russia

Soldiers of the Russian military police and the Turkish military during a joint patrol of the M4 highway in Idlib (Russian Defense Ministry)
Soldiers of the Russian military police and the Turkish military during a joint patrol of the M4 highway in Idlib (Russian Defense Ministry)

Despite a recent agreement with Moscow on withdrawing its heavy weapons from the region, Ankara on Friday sent a new military column to its observation points in the south of Syria’s Idlib province, where Russian warplanes and Syrian forces have recently reduced their military activities.

The new Turkish military column, including armored vehicles and logistical supplies, crossed into Syrian territories via Kafr Lusin crossing on the border with Iskenderun region in northern Idlib.
The vehicles then headed to the Turkish positions in the de-escalation zone.

Over 15,000 Turkish soldiers have deployed in the area since the first Astana agreement between Ankara and Moscow was signed in 2017.

One Tuesday, Turkish and Russian officials met in Ankara for a new round of talks on developments in Syria to discuss a proposal for decreasing the Turkish observation points in Idlib.

However, “the meetings between the Russian and Turkish delegations have not resulted in any specific results or reached mutual understanding on Idlib,” a Turkish source familiar with the situation told Sputnik.

Ankara asked that the cities of Tall Rifat and Manbij be transferred under its control, but this initiative was rejected by Moscow.

During the meeting, Turkey also refused to leave checkpoints on the territories controlled by the Syrian army as well as to reduce the number of its troops in the region and withdraw heavy weapons.

Meanwhile, the administration of the Bab al-Hawa crossing described on Friday the statements of United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock as “irresponsible.”

During a session of the UN Security Council regarding the situation in Syria, Lowcock discussed the entry of UN aid convoys into Syria through the crossing.

“There are great challenges on the Syrian side, including the delayed entry of UN convoys to Syria and their complicated return to Syria,” he said.



13 Palestinians Killed in Central Gaza Strikes

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
TT

13 Palestinians Killed in Central Gaza Strikes

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)

At least 13 people were killed in three Israeli airstrikes that hit refugee camps in central Gaza overnight into Saturday, according to Palestinians health officials.

Among the dead in Nuseirat Refugee Camp and Bureij Refugee Camp were three children and one woman, according to Palestinian ambulance teams that transported the bodies to the nearby Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital.

The 13 corpses were counted by AP journalists at the hospital.

The latest casualties follow a rare moment of hope in war ravaged Gaza, after a medical teams recovered a live baby from a heavily pregnant Palestinian mother killed in an airstrike that hit her home in Nuseirat late Thursday evening.

Heavily pregnant Ola al-Kurd, 25, was killed along with six others in the blast, but was quickly rushed by emergency workers to Al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza in the hope of saving the unborn child. Hours later, doctors told The Associated Press that a baby boy had been delivered.

The still-unnamed newborn is stable but has suffered from a shortage of oxygen and has been placed in an incubator, said Dr. Khalil Dajran. The baby boy's father was wounded in the same strike, but survived.

At least 38,919 Palestinians have been killed and 89,622 have been injured in the Israeli military offensive in Gaza since Oct. 7, the Gaza health ministry said in a statement on Saturday.