Human Rights Watch slams Turkey for ‘failing to supply water’ to northern Syria amid coronavirus pandemic
Human Rights Watch on March 31 said Turkish authorities’ failure to ensure adequate water supplies to Kurdish-held areas in Syria's northeast is compromising humanitarian agencies’ ability to prepare and protect vulnerable communities in the COVID-19 pandemic. Turkish authorities have interrupted water pumping several times since the start of the year, with the latest interruption on March 29, it cited aid organizations as saying.
Turkey has vowed to neutralize radical elements that impede the Russian-Turkish joint patrols in Syria's Idlib, the Russian Defense Ministry said on March 23. The ministry added that the latest joint patrol took place earlier in the day on a shortened route due to safety concerns. Their first joint patrol was also cut short earlier this month due to what Moscow called rebel provocations.
Two Turkish soldiers were killed in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib in a rocket attack by "some radical groups," the Defense Ministry said late on March 19.
Russia and Turkey cut short their first joint patrol in Syria's Idlib on March 15 after rebels and civilians opposed to a ceasefire agreement cut off a main roadway to block its path. Hundreds of civilians and rebels cut off the roadway, rejecting the presence of Russian forces and what they said was an agreement that did not guarantee their re-settlement after being pushed out by violence.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on March 7 there had been no violations of the ceasefire in Syria's Idlib, as part of the agreement reached between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on March 5, while Russia said there have been a few shootings in the region. A day earlier, Putin told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that the agreement would stabilize the situation in Idlib.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on March 5 to discuss escalating tensions in the northern Syrian province of Idlib. The two leaders agreed on a new ceasefire in Idlib which will be effective starting at 12 a.m. on March 6.
The Istanbul Governor's Office has banned anti-war rhetoric, meetings and propaganda until March 10 to ensure "peace and safety in the city." The official statement from the governor's office said that such ideology could lead to public unrest amid the government's military operations in Idlib.
Turkey’s Defense Ministry said late on March 3 that one Turkish soldier was killed and nine others wounded in Syria's Idlib region. With the latest death, 57 Turkish soldiers have been killed in the conflict in the region.
Turkish Defense Ministry has said that Turkey downed a Syrian L-39 type warplane in Idlib. On March 1, Turkey downed two Syrian jets in Idlib. The Syrian military closed the airspace over the province, warning that it would treat any violators as hostile targets and shoot them down.
One Turkish soldier was killed and another was wounded in shelling by Syrian government forces in Idlib, Turkish Defense Ministry said late on March 2.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told Tass that Russia does not plan to go to war with anyone, but wants to dissuade other countries from engaging in conflict with Moscow. The publication of the remarks came amid rising tensions in Syria's Idlib region where Russia is backing Syrian government forces against Turkey.
The Kremlin on March 2 drew Turkey's attention to a warning from the Russian Defense Ministry that Moscow could not guarantee the safety of Turkish planes flying in Syria after Damascus said it was closing the air space over the Idlib region. A day earlier, a source in the Syrian Defense Ministry said on March 1 that Turkish F-16 fighter jets had downed two Syrian warplanes over the Idlib de-escalation zone, the pilots had ejected themselves.
President Tayyip Erdoğan said that he had asked President Vladimir Putin for Russia to step aside in Syria and leave Turkey to deal with Syrian government forces alone, after an attack on Feb. 27 killed 36 Turkish soldiers. He added that Turkey does not currently intend to leave Syria.
Iran's Foreign Ministry accused the United States of compromising the Astana peace process between Iran, Turkey and Russia in an official statement on Feb. 28. The statement also claimed that the U.S. "has always sought to create tensions in the region in an irresponsible manner" and that it justifies its presence in Syria with its interest in their oil resources.
Radar tracks showed that Syrian and Russian forces were flying in formation during the attack that killed at least 36 Turkish soldiers in Syria's Idlib province on Feb. 27, Permanent Representative of Turkey Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioğlu said on Friday. "Turkish forces were alone in that area. The logical conclusion of that is that they were deliberately targeted," he said, disputing the Russian narrative.