Regime, Russia raids approaching Turkey to pressure it

The raids of the Syrian regime and Russia have approached Turkey's borders to put pressure on it according to Russian media outlets, while the Russian-Iranian competition on the Syrian ports moved to Baniyas as Moscow expressed its concern towards the latter's movements.

On Wednesday, the Arab newspapers touched upon the tension witnessed in the areas of the so-called demilitarized zone in Syria. 

Al-Sharq al-Awsat: Syrian raids with Russian coverage are approaching Turkey's border

Al-Sharq al-Awsat said, "The Syrian regime forces expanded its bombardment with the support of Russian warplanes to include Aleppo countryside near the border of Turkey, in conjunction with the continuation of the bombardment on the countryside of Idlib, which resulted in killing civilians among them children. Moreover, it is expected that the International envoy Geir Pedersen to address Idlib's situation at a briefing to the UN Security Council today."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights talked yesterday about the killing of 21 civilians among them 4 children in areal raids launched by the Syrian regime forces targeting Idlib governorate, noting that 745 raids and barrels were launched on the 29th day of the fiercest escalation, and said that Russian warplanes resumed its bombardment after more than 34 hours of absence.

It added, "The Russian Defense Ministry continued showing data about Damascus's success to impede the opposition's advance, amid Russian media outlets' referring to the repercussions of the continued military pressure about Idlib on the understandings with Ankara."

Al-Arab: The conflict of ports between Iran and Russia moved to Baniyas

Al-Arab newspaper said, "Diplomatic source disclosed Russian concern about Iran's endeavor to establish a new military base in Syria, and this time in Baniyas city of Tartus governorate, overlooking the Mediterranean."

Tehran has already shown interest in the city with a strategic location and signed a memorandum of understanding with Damascus in 2017, including the completion of a number of projects in several fields, including energy.

The Russian newspaper "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" has recently quoted a diplomatic source as saying that Baniyas may become a military target for Tehran in the future, and it has linked the matter with the Iranian oil tanker, which reached the city's port on May 5.

The diplomat expressed concern that the establishment of an Iranian base among the Russian positions in Tartus and in Hmeimim would have far-reaching consequences.

In recent years, there have been signs of differences between Russia and Iran in Syria, which analysts attribute to their ongoing competition for achieving the greatest possible gains, especially on the Mediterranean.

Another source warned the Russian newspaper that Iran's activity in Baniyas region could have a destabilizing effect not only for the region, but for the forces trying to achieve stabilization there, in an indication to Russia.

The source that declined to be identified, stressed that it was necessary to monitor what was happening around the port of Baniyas because in the future, it could become a military base for Iran, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.


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