Russia Answers Idlib Roadside Bombing with Airstrikes
Following Tuesday’s roadside bombing in Idlib, which targeted Russian and Turkish forces and injured at least three soldiers, Russian planes retaliated with a barrage of airstrikes on the northwestern Syrian city, wounding at least five, according to local opposition groups. On Tuesday, a mine placed by rebel forces along the highway detonated during a joint patrol conducted by Russian and Turkish troops, who have been upholding a fragile cease-fire around the Idlib ever since the January Russian offensive there that saw hundreds of civilians die and hundreds of thousands more displaced. After several Turkish troops were killed in the Russian-backed Syrian regime strikes, Turkey quickly retaliated, leading to an agreement to hold fire signed in early March. Tuesday’s roadside bombing, which Russia and the Assad regime attribute to “jihadists” and al-Qaida backed terrorist groups, could lead to renewed efforts to drive the last remaining rebel strongholds out of Idlib, thereby enflaming the Turkish-Russian conflict.