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Old 08-19-2019, 07:34 AM
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Arrow Turkish military convoy hit by airstrike in northern Syria

Turkish military convoy hit by airstrike in northern Syria
By: Kareen Fahim - Washington Post - 8-19-19
RE: https://beta.washingtonpost.com/worl...?noredirect=on

Photo link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/resiz...KSVFNVNXZY.jpg
Smoke billows above buildings during a reported air strike by pro-regime forces on the town of Hish in Syria's Idlib province on Aug. 19, 2019. (Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images)

ISTANBUL — A Turkish military convoy was targeted by an airstrike in Syria on Monday, killing three civilians, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Syria’s government said the convoy contained weapons bound for insurgents, without saying whether it was behind the strike, which took place in Idlib province.

The attack threatens to imperil the fragile military cooperation between Russia and Turkey in northern Syria, including agreements aimed at decreasing violence there.

While Turkey has been able to maintain observation posts in Idlib, its cooperation with Russia has not prevented the government of President Bashar al-Assad, Russia’s ally, from pursuing an all-out offensive to recapture the province from Syrian rebel groups.

Turkey did not say who conducted the airstrike but at least partially blamed Russia.

The Russian government had been supplied with “advance information” about the convoy’s route, the ministry said. The attack “contradicts the existing agreements, cooperation and dialogue with the Russian Federation,” it added, calling for “all necessary measures to be taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents.”

Turkey maintained its right to respond in self-defense, the statement said. The convoy had set out for the Turkish observation post at 5:30 a.m. on Monday, and was attacked from the air shortly before 9 a.m. In addition to the three fatalities, 12 other civilians were wounded.

Syria’s government said in a statement of its own that the convoy had been loaded with “ammunition, weapons and material” intended for a Syrian jihadist group in Khan Sheikhoun, a target of the government offensive and one of the last major rebel redoubts. It called the convoy “a stark violation of the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.”

Syria’s Russian-backed offensive in Idlib has killed hundreds of civilians since April and set off panic among the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people sheltering in the province, according to United Nations officials. A flurry of airstrikes in recent days has killed dozens of civilians across the province, activists reported.

Liz Sly contributed from Beirut
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:39 AM
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Arrow Turkey says airstrikes target Turkish army convoy in Syria

Turkey says airstrikes target Turkish army convoy in Syria
By: Albert Aji & Susan Fraser - Associated Press & Charlotte Observer - 8-19-19
RE: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/ne...234138267.html

Photo link: https://www.mcclatchy-wires.com/inco...yria_66006.jpg
This photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian White Helmet civil defense workers search for victims from under the rubble of a destroyed building that hit by airstrikes, in Deir al-Sharqi village, in Idlib province, Syria, Saturday, Aug 17, 2019. Syrian activists and a war monitor say airstrikes have pounded the southern edge of a rebel stronghold in the country's northwest, in one instance killing seven including children. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

This photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian White Helmet civil defense workers search for victims from under the rubble of a destroyed building that hit by airstrikes, in Deir al-Sharqi village, in Idlib province, Syria, Saturday, Aug 17, 2019. Syrian activists and a war monitor say airstrikes have pounded the southern edge of a rebel stronghold in the country's northwest, in one instance killing seven including children. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

The Turkish move into Idlib appears to be a message by Ankara that it will not allow Syrian forces to capture Khan Sheikhoun. Syrian government forces entered its outskirts earlier Monday. The town's fall would also cut the highway linking Idlib to northern parts of Hama province, home to one of Turkey's 12 observation posts on the edge of Idlib province.

It was not immediately clear whether Syrian government or Russian warplanes had struck near the convoy, but the development marked a sharp escalation in tensions in Idlib.

The Turkish Defense Ministry's brief statement did not provide further details but "strongly condemned" the airstrikes, adding that they were "against existing agreements as well as our cooperation and dialogue with Russian."

The strikes hit near the highway where the convoy was traveling, Syrian activists said.

Turkey backs the rebels who have been in control of the region since 2012, while Russia backs Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, which has vowed to take back Idlib. Turkey has 12 observation posts in and on the edges of Idlib province.

Turkey's private DHA news agency said Syrian government planes targeted the route of a Turkish military convoy carrying reinforcement vehicles and personnel. It said the convoy was heading toward two Turkish observation posts in the region when it came under Syrian aircraft fire.

The report said the convoy could not proceed because the route between Maaret al Numan and Khan Sheikhoun was targeted, and sheltered at a safe location. The agency did not report any casualties.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said airstrikes believed to be Russian struck near the highway and forced the nearly 25-vehicle Turkish convoy to stop.

Mazen al-Shami, an opposition activist based in Idlib, also said that warplanes struck areas near where the Turkish convoy was moving. The Sham Network, an activist collective, posted photos of the Turkish convoy — a mushroom of smoke, apparently from the airstrike, could be seen in the distance.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry called the convoy's incursion a "flagrant Turkish intervention," saying it had reached Saraqeb, a town north of Khan Sheikoun early on Monday.

Syrian government troops meanwhile reached the western outskirts of Khan Sheikhoun earlier in the day. The pro-government Al-Watan online and the Observatory reported that Syrian troops have entered Khan Sheikhoun from the northwest.

The ministry said "this hostile behavior of the Turkish regime" wouldn't affect Syrian troops' push into Khan Sheikhoun.

Syrian troops have been on the offensive in Idlib and its surroundings since April 30. The region is home to some 3 million people, many of them displaced in other battles around the war-torn country. The latest round of fighting over the past month has displaced some 450,000 people.

Khan Sheikhoun was the scene of a chemical attack on April 4, 2017 that killed 89 people.

2nd photo link: https://www.mcclatchy-wires.com/inco...yria_12137.jpg
This photo provided by the activist-operated Thiqa News Agency, shows part of a Turkish military convoy heading toward the town of Khan Sheikhoun, a rebel-held northwestern town that's part of a government offensive on the country's last rebel stronghold, in Idlib province, Syria, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. A Turkish military convoy carrying ammunition crossed into northern Syria Monday and moved south through rebel-held areas before it was stopped by airstrikes that struck near the highway where the convoy was moving, opposition activists said. (Thiqa News Agency via AP)

Note: The caption of the 2nd photo link say's convoy but I only see 1-truck? Boats
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Boats

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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