Turkey steps up military operation in Idlib

Turkish air defenses shot down two Syrian fighter jets over Idlib province, controlled by the Pro-Turkish Syrian opposition. According to reports, the pilots ejected and survived.

Intense clashes between the Syrian army and the opposition continue on the ground. Turkey supports its supporters with fire, striking Syrian air defense systems and armored vehicles.

Tensions in Idlib increased sharply after 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in a Syrian air RAID on the opposition-held city of Serakib on the evening of February 27.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, speaking on television on Sunday, said that since the start of the operation, dubbed the “spring shield,” Turkish troops have “neutralized” 2212 Syrian government troops, destroyed 103 tanks, 8 helicopters, 1 drone, as well as rocket launchers and other military equipment.

According to the London-based Syrian center for human rights monitoring, the Syrian army lost 74 soldiers.

The situation in Idlib has led to fears of a conflict between Turkey and Russia, which supports the regime in Damascus. However, Hulusi Akar said that his country does not want this.

“We expect Russia to stop attacks by the [Syrian] regime,” he said. — We have neither the desire nor the intention to face Russia”.

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