Syrian Turkmens recapture territory near Turkish border

Syrian Turkmen opposition forces announce fighters have recovered territory in Turkmen mountain area recently lost to Assad

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkmen fighters from the Bayirbucak region in northwestern Syria

Updated Nov 26, 2015

Syrian Turkmen opposition forces have announced that their fighters have recovered strategic territory located in the Kizildag area of the Turkmen mountain area near the Turkish border which was recently taken over by Assad regime units after Turkey downed a Russian-made aircraft in the same region.

Spokesman for the Sultan Abdulhamid Khan Brigade Mustafa Abdullah said they have conducted a comprehensive operation since Tuesday morning in the Bayirbucak Turkmen region in northwestern Syria, recapturing the area from regime forces which had invaded the zone last Friday.

The Sultan Abdulhamid Khan Brigade is a Turkmen opposition group made up of Turkmen fighters from the Bayirbucak area in the Syrian province of Latakia.

There have recently been fierce clashes between Turkmen opposition fighters and Assad regime forces reinforced by heavy Russian air strikes which have strongly been protested by Turkey.

In another critical development Turkish presidential sources announced on Tuesday morning that a Russian fighter jet has been shot down by the two Turkish F-16s after violating Turkey’s airspace in the southern province of Hatay close to the region of the Syrian Turkmen mountain area.

Abdullah stated that Turkmen forces "have recaptured the area of Kizildag along with all of the important parts," following fierce fights continuing for three straight days, according to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.

"Close combat has been proceeding and our march will keep going. We have captured a tank, three DShKs, and a bulldozer during the ongoing clashes," he added.

At least 5,000 Syrian Turkmen were forced to evacuate their villages and flee to the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday night following an intense three day aerial bombardment by Russia on their villages supported by a ground assault of forces loyal to Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad.

The assault targeted at least 14 Turkmen villages, resulting in civilian casualties, according to various media accounts.

The Russian intervention into the Syrian conflict began with a bombing campaign on the side of the Assad regime on Sept. 30, targeting mostly Syrian opposition-held territories in the country, rather than DAESH. The intervention has been strongly protested by the US, Turkey and the NATO alliance.

TRTWorld and agencies