Skip to main content

Turkey questions why Russia didn't prevent Idlib attack

The Syrian airstrike this week against a Turkish military convoy in Idlib has prompted speculation that Russia and Syria are cooperating at Turkey's expense.
IDLIB, SYRIA - AUGUST 19: Turkish military convoy is seen on August 19, 2019 in Syria's northern province of Idlib. Syrian regime launches airstrikes on Maarat Al-Numan town as a convoy of Turkish military vehicles passes through the town. An airstrike killed three civilians and injured 12 others during a transfer to Turkeys observation point in Syrias Idlib. 
 (Photo by Izzettin Idilbi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

At 8:55 a.m. Aug. 19, a Syrian Su-22 fighter jet attacked a pickup truck of Faylaq al-Sham, a Free Syrian Army faction that Russia describes as a terror outfit. The vehicle was part of a Turkish convoy en route to reinforce the No. 9 Morek observation post in the rebel-held Syrian province of Idlib. Turkey's Defense Ministry said in a statement later that day that it had notified Russian authorities about the Turkish convoy before it began its journey at 5:30 a.m. Nevertheless, the convoy was struck.

Turkey's statement points out that Russia turned a blind eye to the attack that killed three people and wounded others, including a Turkish soldier. Currently, Ankara is trying to determine whether Russia's failure to stop the airstrike was negligent or intentional. The question everyone in Ankara is asking right now is: Are Turkish-Russian relations heading toward a messy divorce?

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.