Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
March 2020 - Turkey Special Weapons News
- HRW: Ankara Denying Water to Syrian Kurds as Coronavirus Escalates VOA 31 Mar 2020 -- Turkey is being accused of "weaponizing" water against Syrian Kurds amid the coronavirus epidemic. Ankara is dismissing the accusation, however, as a "smear campaign."
- WHO Working Closely With Turkey to Protect Northwestern Syria From COVID-19 - Official Sputnik 31 Mar 2020 -- The World Health Organisation (WHO) is coordinating closely with Turkey, including processing samples in Turkish laboratories to prevent COVID-19 from spreading into northwestern Syria, the head of the WHO's operation in northwestern Syria has said in an interview.
- Iranian gas export to Turkey stops due to pipeline explosion IRNA 31 Mar 2020 -- Iranian gas export to Turkey stopped on Tuesday due to pipeline explosion on Turkish soil, according to Director of National Iranian Gas Company in charge of dispatching Mehdi Jamshidi Dana.
- Blast near joint border halts Iran's gas exports to Turkey Press TV 31 Mar 2020 -- Iran's natural gas exports to Turkey have stopped following an explosion on a pipeline near their joint border, an official at the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) said on Tuesday.
- Russia, Turkey Register No Ceasefire Violations in Syria in 24 Hours - Defence Ministry Sputnik 30 Mar 2020 -- Both sides of the Russian-Turkish commission monitoring the implementation of the Syrian truce has recorded no ceasefire violations in Syria over the past 24 hours, the Russian Defence Ministry said in its daily bulletin on Monday.
- Turkish forces, allied militants cut off drinking water to Syria's Hasakah, environs Press TV 29 Mar 2020 -- Turkish forces and allied Takfiri militants have once again cut off drinking water supply to people in Syria's northeastern city of Hasakah and surrounding areas, only a few days after the Damascus government complained to the United Nations and the Security Council over the issue.
- Turkey deploys US-made air defense System to Syria's Idlib: Report Press TV 29 Mar 2020 -- Turkey has reportedly deployed a US-made air defense system to Idlib as Ankara beefs up its military presence in the militant-held Syrian region despite a ceasefire reached earlier this month to halt an escalation.
- Turkey accuses Saudi Arabia of concealing coronavirus cases among pilgrims Press TV 28 Mar 2020 -- Turkey says its first cases of the new coronavirus were detected among those returning from Saudi Arabia, accusing Riyadh of concealing the number of patients among pilgrims.
- Russia Urges Turkey to Continue Real Separation of Militants From Opposition in Idlib Sputnik 27 Mar 2020 -- Russia expects Turkey to continue work on separating the militants from the opposition in Syria's Idlib, as a fictitious renaming of terrorist groups is unacceptable, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Friday.
- Turkey, allied militants using water as weapon against civilians in Syria's Hasakah: Foreign Ministry Press TV 26 Mar 2020 -- The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has strongly condemned Turkey and its allied Takfiri militants for cutting off water supply to local residents in the country's northeastern city of Hasakah and surrounding residential neighborhoods over the past two days.
- Turkey dispatches new military convoy to Syria's Idlib, sets up another post: Monitor Press TV 26 Mar 2020 -- The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says Turkey has dispatched new reinforcements to Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, as Ankara beefs up its military presence in the embattled region following a ceasefire reached earlier this month with Moscow to halt an escalation of violence there.
- Russian, Turkish Military Conduct Joint Patrolling in Syria – Defence Ministry Sputnik 26 Mar 2020 -- Russian and Turkish troops have conducted joint patrolling in Syria's north, Oleg Zhuravlev, the head of the Russian Defence Ministry's centre for the Syrian Reconciliation, said.
- Istanbul Battles Coronavirus Behind Closed Doors VOA 25 Mar 2020 -- Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, is at the center of the country's efforts to control the spread of COVID-19. Authorities are ramping up restrictions, as the number of infections increase.
- Turkey charges 20 Saudis over 2018 Khashoggi murder Press TV 25 Mar 2020 -- Turkish prosecutors have charged 20 Saudi nationals, including two former senior aides to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, over the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.
- Turkey Indicts Saudi Nationals in Khashoggi Murder, Demands Life Sentences - Reports Sputnik 25 Mar 2020 -- The Daily Sabah newspaper reported, citing Istanbul's Chief Public Prosecutor Irfan Fidan, that the investigation into Khashoggi's death had been completed.
- Turkish Military Vows to Ensure Expansion of M4 Highway Patrols in Syria With Russia Sputnik 24 Mar 2020 -- A senior Turkish officer has assured the Russian military that the area of Syria's M4 highway covered by their joint patrol will expand gradually.
- Turkey Threatens to Seize Face Mask Producing Factories VOA 23 Mar 2020 -- Turkish officials are threatening to seize factories where face masks are produced if the companies running them do not agree to sell their products to the government.
- Turkey arrests 5 Kurdish mayors as crackdown continues Press TV 23 Mar 2020 -- Turkey has arrested five mayors of the Kurdish-majority areas as part of its ongoing crackdown against the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP).
- Kurdish Crackdown Continues in Turkey, Despite Health Emergency VOA 23 Mar 2020 -- Turkish security forces detained five elected Kurdish mayors Monday in anti-terror raids, a move that was condemned by human rights groups, as Turkey is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.
- Turkey Pledges to Neutralise Militants Impeding Joint Patrols in Idlib - Russian Military Sputnik 23 Mar 2020 -- The statement comes as Russia and Turkey conducted a second joint patrol of the M4 Aleppo-Latakia highway in the Idlib Province of northwestern Syria.
- Former Allies Challenge Turkey's Erdogan VOA 20 Mar 2020 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing twin challenges from former key allies as discontent grows over a sluggish economy and deteriorating human rights.
- Number of Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Turkey Rises by 168 to 359 – Health Minister Sputnik 19 Mar 2020 -- The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Turkey has increased by 88 percent to 359 within the past 24 hours, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.
- Two Turkish soldiers killed in Syria's Idlib despite truce agreement Press TV 19 Mar 2020 -- Two Turkish soldiers have been killed in Syria's embattled northwestern province of Idlib, officials say.
- Two Turkish Soldiers Killed in Rocket Attack by 'Radical Groups' in Syria's Idlib Sputnik 19 Mar 2020 -- The situation in northern Syria recently calmed down, as Moscow and Ankara reached a ceasefire, suspending clashes between Syrian forces on the one side, and Turkish troops and Turkey-backed militants on the other.
- Russia denies US claim it 'killed dozens of Turkish soldiers' in Syria Press TV 19 Mar 2020 -- A source at the Russian Foreign Ministry has dismissed as "plain lies" claims made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Russia has killed dozens of Turkish military forces in Syria.
- Turkish-backed militants undermine Russia-Turkey joint patrols in Idlib Press TV 16 Mar 2020 -- Russia and Turkey have cut short their first joint patrol in Syria's Idlib after Turkish-based militants blocked a main roadway liberated by the Syrian army in January.
- Russia, Turkey launch patrol mission in Syria's Idlib Press TV 15 Mar 2020 -- Russia and Turkey have begun jointly patrolling the strategic M4 highway in Syria's embattled northwestern province of Idlib as part of a ceasefire reached earlier this month.
- Russia, Turkey Carry Out First Joint Patrol In Syria RFE/RL 15 Mar 2020 -- Russia and Turkey carried out their first joint patrol along an east-west highway in northwest Syria on March 15, although the route was reportedly cut short due to militant activity.
- Syrian Civil War Enters 10th Year As Russia, Turkey Struggle To Maintain Truce RFE/RL 15 Mar 2020 -- Syria's bloody civil war enters its 10th year with the government of President Bashar al-Assad appearing to be consolidating his hold on power, backed by crucial military and political support from Russia and Iran.
- Russian Military Police Arrive for Holding Joint Patrol With Turkey in Syria's Idlib Sputnik 15 Mar 2020 -- The situation in northern Syria recently calmed down, as Moscow and Ankara reached a ceasefire, suspending clashes between Syrian forces on the one side, and Turkish troops and Turkey-backed militants on the other.
- Libyan National Army Claims It Hit Tripoli's Mitiga Airport Killing Turkish Servicemen Sputnik 15 Mar 2020 -- Turkey has been sending troops to war-torn Libya to support the UN-backed Government of National Accord. According to Turkish President Erdogan, Ankara seeks to protect the GNA from being overthrown by the Libyan National Army, which supports the eastern-based interim government in the port city of Tobruk.
- Turkey dispatches new reinforcements to Syria's Idlib prior to joint patrols with Russia: SOHR Press TV 14 Mar 2020 -- The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says Turkey has dispatched a new military convoy to Syria's embattled northwestern province of Idlib, a day ahead of the first joint patrol by Turkish and Russian troops on the strategic M4 highway and establishment of joint coordination centers in the region.
- Turkey, Russia flesh out Syria ceasefire deal: Ankara Press TV 13 Mar 2020 -- Turkey and Russia have agreed to begin joint patrols along a key highway in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib as part of a recent ceasefire agreement between the two sides, Turkey's defense minister says.
- Turkey says its forces will remain in Syria's Idlib despite truce Press TV 12 Mar 2020 -- Turkey says its military personnel will stay in Idlib Province despite a ceasefire deal with Russia, and that any withdrawal from the embattled Syrian region is "out of the question."
- US offers Turkey Patriot missiles if it ditches Russia's S-400: Erdogan Press TV 11 Mar 2020 -- Turkey's president says the United States has offered to provide Ankara with the Patriot missile system if it refuses to operationalize the advanced S-400 defense system that it has bought from Russia.
- Erdogan Threatens 'Tougher' Action in Idlib if Russia-Turkey Brokered Ceasefire is Breached Sputnik 11 Mar 2020 -- Russia, Syria's key military ally, brokered a ceasefire with Turkey after a weeks-long period of escalation in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib. Days later, Turkish President Erdogan is accusing Syria of violating the deal.
- Syria Cease-fire Hangs by a Thread VOA 10 Mar 2020 -- The cease-fire agreement that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin reached for Syria's battered Idlib province was hanging by a thread Tuesday.
- Turkey proposes running Syria oilfields jointly with Russia Press TV 10 Mar 2020 -- Turkey's president says he has proposed to his Russian counterpart that the two countries jointly operate the eastern Syrian oilfields, adding he could make the same offer to the United States, which is already implicated in stealing the Syrian crude.
- NATO Secretary General discusses situation in Syria with President Erdoğan NATO 09 Mar 2020 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday (9 March 2020) in Brussels.
- Egypt, UAE establish Libyan naval commando unit to fight Turkey Press TV 10 Mar 2020 -- Backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt has reportedly set up a special naval operations force made up of Libyan commandos, which is tasked with targeting Turkish naval interests off Libyan coasts.
- Erdogan Threatens Unilateral Action in Idlib if Russia-Brokered Ceasefire Goes Awry Sputnik 08 Mar 2020 -- Russia brokered a ceasefire between Turkey and Syria on Thursday, which wrapped up weeks of fighting in Syria's last rebel-held province that caused dozens of casualties on both sides.
- Turkey Says Idlib Truce With Russia Seems To Be Holding RFE/RL 07 Mar 2020 -- A truce between Russia and Turkey in Syria's Idlib Province appears to be holding, according to the Turkish defense minister.
- Russian S-400 Air Defence Systems Will Enter Service in Turkey in April - Erdogan Sputnik 06 Mar 2020 -- Russian-made S-400 air defence missile systems will enter service in Turkey in April, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
- Cease-fire in Syria Largely Holds on First Day VOA 06 Mar 2020 -- Monitors in Syria said Friday that a cease-fire was largely holding on the first day of a truce between Russia, which backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, and Turkey, which backs some Syrian rebel groups.
- Turkish MoD Says 'Neutralised' 21 Syrian Soldiers on 5 March After 2 Turkish Troops Killed Sputnik 06 Mar 2020 -- Earlier, the Ministry said that two Turkish soldiers had been killed and three more injured as a result of the Syrian army fire.
- As Greek-Turkish Crisis Deepens, Erdogan Claims Success VOA 05 Mar 2020 -- As Greece works to turn back the thousands of migrants who are trying to cross the border from Turkey, the Turkish government is boosting its forces by deploying an additional 1,000 police officers to the border area.
- Russia, Turkey reach deal on midnight ceasefire in Syria's Idlib Press TV 05 Mar 2020 -- The Russian and Turkish presidents say they have come to an agreement on an imminent ceasefire regime in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, where Turkish violations have brought about an unwarranted flare-up of already high levels of violence.
- Russian, Turkish Leaders Agree To Cease-Fire In Syria's Idlib Region RFE/RL 05 Mar 2020 -- Turkey and Russia say they have agreed to a cease-fire for the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, as Ankara and Moscow sought to ease tensions over a flare-up in violence in Syria.
- Russian and Turkish Presidents Reach Cease-Fire Deal in Northwestern Syria VOA 05 Mar 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Thursday agreed to a cease-fire in northwestern Syria, following talks in Moscow on easing tensions in the region.
- No normal ties with Turkey as long as Erdogan supports terrorists: Assad Press TV 05 Mar 2020 -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has described the chances of normal diplomatic relations with neighboring Turkey as remote, stressing that such an ideal cannot be achieved as long as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan supports Takfiri militant groups and is under the heavy influence of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement.
- Turkey rebrands 80,000 terrorists to stop Syria's liberation of Idlib Press TV 05 Mar 2020 -- As tensions are escalating in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, the last militant bastion in a nine-year war, Turkey is attempting to hold its grip over the flashpoint region through tens of thousands of militants it supports.
- EU accuses Turkey of using migrants to pressure Europe Press TV 04 Mar 2020 -- European Union member states say the bloc "strongly rejects" what it sees as Turkey's use of migrants for political ends, after Turkey opened its borders with Syria and allowed thousands of migrants to pour into the continent via Greece.
- Syria condemns US, Turkey for 'illegal infiltration' of officials into Idlib Press TV 04 Mar 2020 -- The Syrian Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the US and Turkey for the "illegitimate infiltration" of American officials into the Arab country's Idlib province.
- 'Roughly 80,000 anti-Syria militants enjoy Turkey's support' Press TV 04 Mar 2020 -- According to data collected by sources from the battlefield in Syria and given to Press TV, there are roughly 80,000 militants who enjoy Turkey's support in their fight against the Syrian government.
- Turkey failed to honor Idlib deal, allowed outposts to merge with terrorist fortifications: Russia Press TV 04 Mar 2020 -- Moscow says Ankara has failed to live up to its commitments under a deal to enforce a demilitarized zone in Idlib, complaining that the Turkish military has allowed its observation posts to merge with terrorist fortifications in the northwestern Syrian province.
- Erdogan, Putin to Seek to Avoid Clash Over Syria's Idlib VOA 04 Mar 2020 -- Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan heads to Moscow on Thursday for a high-stakes meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin aimed at de-escalating tensions between the armies of Turkey, a NATO member, and Russia, a nuclear superpower, in Syria's war-torn Idlib province.
- Foreign Secretary's joint press conference Turkish Foreign Minister, March 2020 UK FCO 03 Mar 2020 -- Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab gave a press statement following a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Ankara.
- US Intends to Support Turkey's Actions in Syria's Idlib by Supplying Ammunition - Report Sputnik 03 Mar 2020 -- On Monday, Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said the US would not be providing Turkey with air support in the restive Syrian province.
- Russia rejects claims by Turkey, US on Idlib situation as 'incorrect' Press TV 03 Mar 2020 -- Russia says the allegations by Turkey, the United States, and some European countries that a humanitarian crisis has been caused in northwestern Syria as a result of Syrian and Russian military operations to retake territory from dangerous armed militants there are incorrect.
- Turkey Downs Syrian Jet as Moscow Warns Ankara VOA 03 Mar 2020 -- Turkish forces shot down a Syrian warplane in Syria's Idlib province Tuesday, in an escalation of Turkey's military offensive against Syrian government forces. Ankara's assault is in retaliation for the killing of 34 Turkish troops in an airstrike blamed on Damascus.
- Syrian Warplane Downed by Turkish Forces in Idlib - Turkish Defence Ministry Sputnik 03 Mar 2020 -- Earlier, a Syrian Defence Ministry source confirmed that Turkish F-16s had violated Syrian airspace in Idlib and shot down two Syrian Air Force aircraft on Sunday, with the pilots ejecting and making it to safety. Damascus has since closed the airspace over the region.
- Turkey downs Syrian fighter jet as it intensifies Idlib attacks Press TV 03 Mar 2020 -- Turkey has shot down a Syrian fighter jet over the embattled northwestern province of Idlib, where Ankara supports militant groups fight against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
- Syrian government forces shoot down Turkish drone in Saraqib Press TV 03 Mar 2020 -- Syrian government forces have intercepted and targeted an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to Turkish military while flying in the skies over a strategic city in the country's northwestern province of Idlib.
- One Turkish Soldier Killed, 9 Others Injured in Syria's Idlib - Turkish Defence Ministry Sputnik 03 Mar 2020 -- One Turkish soldier was killed in an attack by Syrian government forces in Idlib province, while nine others were injured, the Turkish Defence Ministry said on Tuesday, adding that response fire followed.
- What Does Turkey's President Want? VOA 02 Mar 2020 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has hopes of reaching a deal on a cease-fire in Syria's northwest when he meets his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday in Moscow.
- We cannot guarantee safety of your planes over Syria: Russia to Turkey Press TV 02 Mar 2020 -- The Russian Defense Ministry has warned Turkey that it cannot 'guarantee the safety' of Turkish flights over Syria.
- Turkey: Erdogan, Putin To Meet In Moscow This Week For Syria Talks RFE/RL 02 Mar 2020 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, will hold talks this week in Moscow amid mounting tensions in Syria, Turkey's presidency said March 2.
- Erdogan Hopes for Idlib Cease-fire in Putin Talks VOA 02 Mar 2020 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday he hopes to reach a cease-fire deal for Syria's Idlib province during talks this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Syria State Media: Turkish Forces Target 2 Syrian Planes VOA 01 Mar 2020 -- Syrian state media (SANA) said on Sunday that Turkish forces targeted two Syrian planes over the Idlib region.
- Syria confirms Turkey shot down its fighter jets on combat mission in Idlib Press TV 01 Mar 2020 -- Syria has confirmed that Turkish forces have intercepted and shot down two Soviet-built Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jets belonging to the Syrian Air Force, with the pilots ejecting moments before the aircraft were hit.
- Syrian Jets 'Downed' As Turkey Says 'No Desire Or Intention To Clash With Russia' RFE/RL 01 Mar 2020 -- Turkey's defense minister said on March 1 that his country was "successfully" continuing its military operation in northwestern Syria against the Russian-backed regime in Damascus and that Ankara doesn't have "the desire or intention to clash with Russia."
- Two Syrian Planes Downed by Turkey Over Idlib, Pilots Safe – Reports Sputnik 01 Mar 2020 -- Earlier, the Syrian Army announced that the airspace over Idlib had been closed, and warned that it would down any aircraft breaching its airspace.
- Russia, Turkey agree to scale down tensions in Syria's Idlib People's Daily 01 Mar 2020 -- Foreign and defense officials from Russia and Turkey have reiterated their commitment to "reducing tensions on the ground" in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.
- Russia Can't Guarantee Safety of Turkish Aviation in Syria After Damascus Shuts Idlib Airspace – MoD Sputnik 01 Mar 2020 -- As tensions run high in Syria's Idlib amid Thursday's spike in hostilities, the Syrian state news agency SANA reported on Sunday that the "Turkish regime's terrorist forces" downed two aircraft - thought to be fighter jets - belonging to the Damascus forces.
- Kremlin Responds to Erdogan's Request That Russia 'Step Aside' in Syria Sputnik 01 Mar 2020 -- On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters that he had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to "get out of Turkey's way" and to leave Ankara "face to face" with Damascus in the renegade Syrian province of Idlib.
- Turkish drone strikes kill over two dozen Syrian soldiers in Idlib: Monitor Press TV 01 Mar 2020 -- Turkish drone strikes have reportedly killed 26 Syrian soldiers in northwestern Syria, in an apparent response to the deaths of 33 Turkish soldiers who were killed on Thursday during a Syrian army offensive against terrorists in Idlib.
- Syria closes northwestern airspace, downs 3 Turkish drone Press TV 01 Mar 2020 -- Syria has shut its airspace over the country's northwest, particularly the embattled Idlib province, warning to bring down any aircraft that violates it.
- Syrian Air Defence Opens Fire at Turkish Drones Near Hama Sputnik 01 Mar 2020 -- Syrian government troops opened fire on Sunday at aerial targets near the western city of Hama that a Syrian military source identified to Sputnik as Turkish drones.
- Syrian Army Will Seek to Down Any Aircraft Breaching Airspace - State Media Sputnik 01 Mar 2020 -- Tensions escalated in Syria's Idlib province earlier this week after 36 Turkish soldiers were killed and over 30 injured in an airstrike.
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