A Syrian government helicopter bursts in flames after it was hit by a missile in Idlib province on February 11, 2020. AP
Sun 01 March 2020:
The Sukhoi jets fell in regime-held territory, likely after being targeted by Turkish F-16 planes, according to a rebel group and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor.
Turkey’s defence ministry also reported the downings Sunday, but did not confirm who was responsible.
“Two SU-24 regime planes that were attacking our aircraft have been downed,” it said.
Youssef Hammoud, a spokesman for the National Syrian Army – a pro-Turkish group – said two Sukhoi 24 planes were brought down, also without saying who was responsible.
The latest escalation shortly after Turkey said it was continuing a military operation against the Russian-backed Syrian regime in Syria’s northwestern Idlib region.
“Following the heinous attack on February 27 in Idlib, operation ‘Spring Shield’ successfully continues,” Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said in a televised speech.
“We don’t have the desire or intention to clash with Russia,” the minister added. Thirty-four Turkish troops have been killed in Syria since Thursday.
“Our intention is to stop the regime’s massacres, and prevent… migration,” he said.
“We expect Russia to stop the regime’s attacks and to use their influence to ensure the regime withdraws to the borders of the Sochi agreement.”
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