Syrian soldiers and military gears are seen in the city of Manbij in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo province, Syria, on Nov. 2, 2019. The Syrian army brought in new reinforcement to Manbij to protect the city against the Turkey-backed rebels in nearby areas. (Str/Xinhua)
Syrian soldiers and military gears are seen in the city of Manbij in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo province, Syria, on Nov. 2, 2019. The Syrian army brought in new reinforcement to Manbij to protect the city against the Turkey-backed rebels in nearby areas. (Str/Xinhua)

The Turkish forces heavily shelled Syrian government forces’ positions in the countryside of the northwestern province of Idlib on Thursday, a war monitor reported.

The shelling was carried out by the Turkish forces and Turkey-backed rebels which targeted military positions of the Syrian army in the town of Nairab in the countryside of Idlib amid Turkish military buildup in preparation for a new assault against the Syrian troops, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Turkish forces and the allied rebels are preparing an offensive against the Syrian forces in Nairab days after the Turkey-backed rebels briefly captured it before the army regained it again, according to the watchdog group.

On the other hand, the Russian-backed Syrian army carried out airstrikes against the rebel positions in the Ariha area in Idlib countryside with the help of Russian warplanes, said the Observatory.

On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose forces back the insurgency in Syria and has recently sent troops to Syria without the consent of the Syrian government, warned that it is “only a matter of time” before it launches an operation to stop the Syrian offensive on Idlib that has allegedly killed scores of civilians since last December.

Russia, the Syrian government’s main international ally, responded by saying that any Turkish offensive against the Syrian forces in Idlib would be the “worst scenario.”

The pro-government al-Watan newspaper said Thursday that a tripartite summit between Russia, Turkey and Iran will take place next month in Iran’s capital Tehran.

Turkey has been angered by the two-month-long offensive of the Syrian army in the countryside of Aleppo and Idlib in northern Syria, which enabled the Syrian army to retake key areas including the highway linking Damascus with Aleppo. Enditem

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