UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — In Idlib, the Turkish military shot down two Syrian Air Force planes, the Syrian command said.
“At 13:25 today, during a combat mission against terrorist groups, two planes were shot down by Turkish fighters in Syrian airspace in the Idlib region,” the report said.
Pilots safely ejected.
The command of the SAR army previously announced the closure of airspace over the province of Idlib . The statement clarified that any aircraft that are noticed in this region will be perceived as hostile and shot down. Later SANA reported that a Turkish drone was shot down over the city of Saraqeb.
The situation in the north of Syria
A week ago, pro-Turkish militants, supported by Turkish artillery , broke through the defenses of the Syrian army in the area of Kminas and Nairab. Russian Su-24 attacked them, which allowed the Syrians to successfully repel all attacks.
According to the Turkish Ministry of Defense, two Turkish soldiers died in an air attack in Idlib, and five more were injured. CPVS called on Ankara to stop supporting terrorists.
The situation in the region escalated on February 27 when the terrorists of Khayyat Tahrir al-Sham launched a large-scale attack on the positions of the Syrian government forces. The SAR army returned fire. The shelling killed 36 Turkish soldiers who were not supposed to be there, another 30 were injured.
Immediately after this, the Russian side took measures to ceasefire in order to ensure the evacuation of the dead and injured Turkish troops to their homeland. Following the escalation of the conflict, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan convened a security meeting.
The NATO Council held consultations on the situation in Syria on Friday in response to Ankara’s request. The US State Department told RIA Novosti that “they are considering options for how best to support Turkey in this crisis.”
Russia, Iran and Turkey in May 2017 in Astana (now Nur-Sultan) agreed to create four de-escalation zones in Syria. Three of them came under the control of Damascus in 2018. The fourth zone, located in the province of Idlib and parts of the neighboring provinces of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo, is not yet occupied by government troops, most of it was captured by terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra.
Then, in September 2018, Moscow and Ankara at the negotiations in Sochi decided to create a demilitarized zone in Idlib, where there are more than a dozen different units.
The largest of them are the union of the pro-Turkish groups “National Liberation Front” and “Jabhat al-Nusra”, in total about 30 thousand militants.
The Syrian army at the end of January launched an offensive in Idlib and Aleppo in connection with daily terrorist shelling of residential areas, which killed dozens of civilians. In a month, Assad’s troops managed to free more than 600 square kilometers, the large city of Maarat Numan and the M5 highway (Damascus-Aleppo).
Against the backdrop of the escalation in Idlib, Ankara and some of its partners accused Damascus and Moscow of striking humanitarian targets and the Turkish military.
Russia and Syria have repeatedly stressed that the cause of instability in the region is the actions of terrorists. So, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that Turkey was unable to fulfill several key commitments to solve the problems around Syrian Idlib.
In particular, she did not dissociate the armed opposition, which is ready for dialogue with the government in the framework of the political process, from terrorists. In turn, the vice-president of Turkey Fuat Oktay believes that the country has fulfilled its obligations under Idlib.
Earlier, Erdogan stated that Turkey did not get a satisfactory result in negotiations with Russia on Idlib and was ready for the start of a military operation in this region.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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