The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Tension on M4 evolves to fierce clashes between Turkish forces and protesters leaving four dead

Reliable sources have informed the Syrian Observatory that Turkish forces demolished most of the tents in the area where “Al-Karama sit-in” is held near Al-Nayrab town on the M4 highway, since these tents had been set up by protesters opposing the agreement between Turkey and Russia. SOHR activists have reported hearing explosions and heavy gunfire in the area.

These developments comes in the wake of the escalating tension between Turkish forces on one hand and fighters of jihadi factions led by Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham.

SOHR sources have confirmed that exchange of fire with heavy machineguns erupted between both sides, along with shells hitting Turkish posts nearby Al-Nayrab. Meanwhile, Turkish reconnaissance drones were monitored flying over the area.

On the other hand, the number of HTS fighters and the “Salvation Government” affiliates who have been killed by Turkish gunfire since early morning rose to four.

According to SOHR sources, Turkish forces opened fire on the area this dawn after being attacked by jihadi groups.

SOHR source reported earlier that tension escalating in the area where “Al-Karamah sit-in” is held near Al-Nayrab town in the eastern countryside of Idlib on Aleppo-Latakia international highway (M4), between protesters and fighters of jihadi groups on one hand, and Turkish forces on the other. Turkish forces attempting to disperse the sit-in by force, in order to implement the terms of the agreement between Turkey and Russia and conduct joint patrols on the M4.

Most of the protesters, who opposes conducting Turkish-Russian joint patrols, are affiliated to the “Salvation Government” as well as fighters of jihadi groups.

Observatory activists confirmed that intensive gunfire renewed in the area of the sit-in, along with firing more tear gas by the Turks.

SOHR activists reported earlier this morning that widespread discontent prevailing in the area where “Al-Karamah sit-in” was held in the eastern countryside of Idlib on Aleppo-Latakia international highway (M4).

According to SOHR sources, a military group of the Turkish army removed soil barriers on the M4 near Al-Nayrab town in eastern Idlib this dawn. The group also attempted to disperse the sit-in held there, firing tear gas, while the protesters responded by pelting Turkish soldiers with stones.

Later, Turkish forces stepped up the use of violence and started live-fire shooting targeting the area where the sit-in was held, leaving two unidentified persons dead. It is not known yet if the victims are civilians or fighters, since there is a nearby military post.

It is noteworthy that Turkish forces seek to disperse the sit-in in order to conduct joint patrols with Russian forces on the M4.

On April 13, SOHR sources reported that a large group of Turkish units stormed the site of a sit-in staged by protesters on the Latakia-Aleppo international road.

According to SOHR sources, dozens of Turkish soldiers stormed that morning a sit-in held by civilians who oppose the agreement between Turkey and Russia. The Turkish troops demolished tents, formed a human wall in front of the protesters and beat some of them.

Gunfire was also heard in the area, while there were no any factions present with Turkish forces during the crackdown on the protest.

The site of this sit-in have been agreed upon a few days ago, and it is located near the village of Tarnaba, east of Idlib.