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Six Russian Helicopter Gunships, Jet Reportedly Spotted at Airbase in Northern Syria

© Sputnik / Mikhail VoskresenskiyKa-52 attack helicopters in Syria. File photo
Ka-52 attack helicopters in Syria. File photo  - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.11.2021
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Turkey has reportedly concentrated troops along the Syrian-Turkish frontier, with sources telling Syrian media last week that Ankara was planning an operation to take control of two-thirds of the border area. On Saturday, Damascus slammed the Turkish Parliament’s decision to extend cross-border “counterterrorism” operations in Syria for two years.
Military Observer, a Telegram channel tracking global military operations, has published a satellite photo allegedly showing Russian helicopter gunships and a fighter jet at an airbase in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli. The jet is believed to be an Su-34 or Su-35 fighter.
Earlier, the channel published photos of an Mi-8AMTSh and a Ka-52 Alligator helicopter gunship, as well as a Su-35S fighter and a Su-34 figher-bomber operating in the area.
The Russian military has not confirmed the latest information on its operations in Syria.
Last week, Dmitry Polyansky, Russia’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, warned that there was a danger of an escalation in the Syrian conflict.

“Despite the general stabilisation of the military-political situation in Syria, risks of the escalation of tensions are still high, especially in territories not controlled by the government – in Idlib, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates and in al-Tanf,” Polyansky said. The diplomat reiterated Russia’s position in promoting “intra-Syrian dialogue geared to restore Syria’s unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence.”

The diplomat’s remarks come amid worrying reports about the situation on the Syrian-Turkish border. Last week, sources told the semi-official Syrian Arab News Agency that Ankara had deployed “hundreds” of troops in areas under their control. Also last week, Bloomberg reported, citing sources, that Turkey was planning an offensive in the country to clear two-thirds of the frontier with Syria of Kurdish militias – with these plans reportedly including the seizure of areas south of the city of Kobani to unite territories under Turkey’s control to the west and east of the Euphrates River.
Last Thursday, a Syrian opposition source told Sputnik that the Turkish military was planning to conduct two operations in Syria and that armed formations allied to Ankara “had been “put on full alert.” The source said the operations would target areas northwest of Idlib and northeast Syria in an operation against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. The source warned that the operations could start at any time but most likely “after the meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Joe Biden.” That meeting took place Sunday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome.
Turkey conducted three military operations in northern Syria between 2016-2019, invading the country on the pretext of targeting both Daesh (ISIS)* terrorists and Kurdish militants. In recent weeks, Erdogan warned that Turkey could launch a new military campaign, citing an increase in Kurdish attacks on Turkish troops. Last Tuesday, Turkey’s Parliament ratified a motion to extend authorisation to launch cross-border “anti-terrorist” operations in Syria and northern Iraq until 2023.
A man carries Syrian Independence flag as Turkish soldiers block a road after a nearby explosion outside the city of Ariha, in Idlib province, Syria, Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.10.2021
Damascus Slams Turkish Parliament's Decision to Extend Military Presence in Syria, Iraq
Earlier this month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Russia and the United States of failing to live up to their responsibilities to Turkey in Syria. Cavosoglu accused the US of supplying weapons to Kurdish “terrorists” and warned that Ankara would “do everything necessary to clear this area of terrorists for the sake of our safety.”
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