The Idlib Turkey Shoot: Destruction and Capture of Vehicles and Equipment by Turkish and Rebel Forces
[Spioenkop] Turkish air and ground strikes which commenced late on the 27th of February 2020 on positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SyAA) and affiliated forces hit a large number of targets throughout Idlib and Aleppo, leading to the complete collapse of government forces along this part of the frontline and allowing rebel forces to continue their advance after recapturing the strategic town of Saraqib. Launched in retaliation after the killing of 33 Turkish soldiers in an airstrike, Turkey has now entered a new phase in its war in Syria, and at present the long-term implications can only be guessed at.
|This appears to be from 29 February. |
To purposely strike a Turkish military position only to get completely annihilated in retaliatory strikes raises the issue of whether the current organisation in charge of regime operations is capable of dealing with the situation it faces. The catastrophic outcome of the regime's (and Russia's) attempt at directly challenging Turkey's resolve must have not only amazed those following the offensive, but also the regime's military itself. Completely misjudging the impending danger and incapable of properly anticipating Turkey's retaliatory strikes, the Syrian military totally collapsed in the face of drones and artillery. Instead of engaging or at least deterring Turkish aircraft and drones from freely striking government forces on the ground, the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) and Syrian Arab Air Defence Force (SyAADF) have so far done nothing to stop the Turkish Air Force from penetrating into Syrian airspace.
What is certain is that for rebel forces Turkey's new phase could not have come at a better time. As the tide of the war is now in favour of the regime, rebel forces lost the offensive posture many groups managed to cling on to for much of the war. With rebel forces in Idlib verywhere on the defensive and losing, Idlib has largely been cut off from the largest supplier of weaponry and ammunition to factions opposing the Syrian government: The Syrian Arab Army. The latter's failure to redistribute, protect, or at least destroy major arms depots like Ayyash ensured a seemingly endless supply of vehicles, weaponry and ammunition
to opposing forces in Syria. Nowadays mostly relying on small batches of munitions purchased on the black market or received from foreign powers, the only way for rebels in Idlib to stock up on heavier equipment like tanks is through smash and grab attacks on poorly defended but overstocked regime positions and now, a Turkish-backed offensive launched against the city of Saraqib.
A detailed list of the destroyed and captured vehicles, weaponry and ammunition and can be seen below.
This list only includes captured vehicles and equipment of which photo or videographic evidence is available. Therefore, the amount of equipment destroyed by Turkey and captured by Idlibi rebel forces is undoubtedly higher than recorded here. Small arms and munitions are currently not included in this list, but will be added after the release of Calibre Obscura's list tomorrow.
This list will be updated as additional footage becomes available.
| Long list and links can be seen at the link. Click on the headline if interested, dear Reader.|
Posted by: Herb McCoy 2020-03-04