Late on September 15 and early on September 16, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out a large-scale strike on weapon depots and training camps of Turkish-backed terrorists in the Syrian province of Idlib. According to pro-government sources, over 30 Russian strikes hit the areas of Sheikh Bahr, Shaykh Dawud and Ma’arat Misreen.
This operation became the most recent in a series of strikes on terrorist infrastructure in the region. The Russian Defense Ministry is not commenting on the situation, but the reaction of Turkish propaganda and al-Qaeda terrorists demonstrate that the impact of the strikes is much higher than they are ready to admit.
In response, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorists, the main Turkish ally in Idlib, shelled several positions of the Syrian Army and civilian targets in western Aleppo and southern Idlib. Local sources claim that at least 3 civilians were injured. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham-affiliated media also claimed that 2 Syrian soldiers were killed in the area of Ruwaiha.
Meanwhile, in northern Syria, Turkish proxies claimed that their forces killed 2 Syrian troops near the town of Ain Issa. The Turkish military and pro-Turkish militants have abandoned attempts to capture the town, but they continue to violate the ceasefire regime there regularly. A similar situation is observed near Tall Tamr, where Turkish militants regularly shell civilian targets claiming that they are destroying military positions of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
On September 15, a US military helicopter made an emergency landing in the province of al-Hasakah. According to the US-led coalition, the incident was not the result of hostile activity and led to no casualties. Emergency forces were subsequently deployed to the area and the crew was recovered.
Pro-militant and pro-Israeli sources released a series of reports that a new Israeli strike targeted alleged Iranian positions near the town of al-Bukamal. These claims were not confirmed by any evidence on the ground, but their timing was interesting.
Just recently, US mainstream media alleged that Iran was planning the assassination of the US ambassador to South Africa, attributing the information to an unnamed US government official and another official who had seen the intelligence. This would reportedly be in retaliation for the January 3rd assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, which had been carried out by a US drone strike in Iraq’s capital Baghdad.
At that time media speculation led to the following comment by President Donald Trump that “any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!”
A small media victory over Iran in al-Bukamal fits nicely with these comments and avoids the risk of writing another lengthy explanation of why the world superpower is not reacting to a public Iranian missile strike on its military bases in the Middle East.