Turkish-backed gunmen shot down a helicopter of the Syrian forces in Idlib

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Syrian and Turkish-backed gunmen have shot down a government forces helicopter in western Aleppo in Idlib, northwestern Syria, which has seen an escalation in violence and displacement in recent weeks, government media reported.

A military source from the armed opposition and witnesses told Reuters that Russian warplanes targeted areas in the western countryside of Aleppo earlier on Friday, but retreated to the city after the helicopter fell.

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) quoted a military source as saying, “About forty-one minutes in the afternoon today, Friday, one of our military hovercraft was hit by a hostile missile in the western countryside of Aleppo, near Urm al-Kubra, where armed terrorist organizations supported by Turkey are deployed. This has led to The fall of the helicopter and the death of its crew.

The Turkish army sent additional reinforcements of weapons and forces to Idlib, which is located on the southern border of Turkey, in order to counter an attack by the Syrian government forces to restore the last major stronghold of opposition fighters in the country, nearly nine years after the war began.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday that Turkey had deployed about 6,500 soldiers to reinforce its units in northwestern Syria, in addition to about 1,900 military vehicles since the beginning of February.

The Turkish Anatolia news agency reported that the plane was shot down while flying over the front lines after taking off from government-controlled Aleppo.

Opposition gunmen shot down another helicopter belonging to the Syrian government forces on Tuesday near the town of Neirab, to the south.

Meanwhile, the government-owned Syrian News Channel broadcast what it said were clips of its crew entering a car for the first time to Aleppo via the M5 international highway, which was the hub of President Bashar al-Assad’s latest military campaign.

The newsletter said that the road from Damascus to Aleppo, which runs through Idlib governorate, is now completely under the control of the Syrian army.


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