According to the Russian Center for Syrian reconciliation, a column of trucks escorted by 160 Al-Nusra Front terrorists have been seen crossing over from Turkey into Syria in the north of Idlib province.
The Al-Qaeda affiliated militants are said to be heading for Aleppo to reinforce terrorists fighting there.
According to the center’s report, ISIS and al-Nusra Front terrorists have been conducting target reconnaissance and artillery spotting fire for the last several days in an apparent preparation for an offensive.
“A column of heavy trucks with munitions and weapons escorted by armed groups has been detected in the northeast of Aleppo,” the bulletin of the Center for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic reads.
“The column was moving from the Turkish border. It faced no obstacles while moving through territories controlled by different armed groups and reached the ISIS-controlled region.”
According to a representative of the center, the column arrived in the area to reinforce the terrorists fighting there, RIA Novosti states.
Earlier reports noted that terrorists operating near the city of Aleppo have recently been carrying out artillery reconnaissance and landmark sighting procedures. Aleppo’s districts of Sheikh Maksoud, Meydan, al-Khalidiya and Amriya came under shelling several times. Local residential areas, administrative buildings, positions of government troops and militia units have been targeted.
“More than 20 people were killed, and around 40 suffered injuries of various degrees as a result of terrorist shelling of the shopping mall and adjacent shops,” the Center for Syrian reconciliation reports.
It also notes that terrorist fighters have been “taking advantage” of the ceasefire regime and were able to infiltrate and take safe haven in the same neighborhoods of the city where the so-called “moderate opposition” is located. Because this opposition is not being targeted under the US-Russian brokered truce, the jihadists, the Center notes, were able to “regroup” and replenish arms and ammunition before commencing “active” fighting.
Following the statements made by the Russian side, Ankara demanded that Moscow present evidence that Turkey is involved in supplying Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists with weapons.
“Let them prove that the weapons are delivered to IS-controlled areas from Turkey,” Ibrahim Kalyn, press secretary of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said on Wednesday, adding that in his opinion, Russia “is trying to roll out a campaign of denigrating Turkey.”
He also denounced the claim made by the British media that the children of Syrian refugees currently living in Antakya, south Turkey, have been making military uniforms for IS militants, dubbing it “egregiously hollow.”
The ceasefire truce brokered by Russia and the United States on February 22 officially came into effect in Syria at midnight Damascus time on February 27. Some 138 municipalities are to date officially taking part in the truce after a total of 60 fighting cells signed the ceasefire agreement. It does not however include Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State, as well as other formations considered terrorist by the United Nations Security Council. Three ceasefire violations have been registered within the last 24 hours, according to the Center for reconciliation, all in the Damascus province.