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Iran Press TV

Turkish military firing at Russian, Syrian military planes in Idlib: Military source

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 27 February 2020 4:48 PM

Turkish military forces are using shoulder-fired missiles to shoot down Russian and Syrian military aircraft in Syria's embattled northwestern province of Idlib as heavy fighting continues in the area, a military source says.

"Syrian and Russian planes are stopping militants again and again. But the sky above Idlib is also dangerous. The militants and Turkish specialists are actively using portable air defense systems," Russia's state-owned Rossiya 24 television news network reported on Thursday.

The report noted that Russian and Syrian planes are therefore being forced to take countermeasures after they carry out a string of airstrikes against militant positions in the region.

Syria's SANA news agency also quoted a military source as corroborating the Russian source's report, saying in a tweet on Thursday that "#Terrorists use #US-made shoulder-fired #missiles with Turkish support to target #Syrian and #Russian warplanes."

The military source added that "#Turkish regime provides artillery and shoulder-fired missiles' #support to #terrorists in battles being carried out in direction of #Saraqib."

Earlier in the day, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech aired on the private Turkish-language NTV television news network that three Turkish troops had been killed in Idlib.

"The developments in Idlib are now in favor [of Turkey]," he added at the opening ceremony of the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) Politics Academy conference.

The fighting in Idlib is still ongoing, Erdogan said, adding that Turkey and Russia continue negotiations in the meanwhile.

Erdogan went on to claim that Turkey's involvement in Syria is completely legal under the scope of the Adana agreement signed between Ankara and Damascus decades ago.

The Adana Interstate Agreement on Combating Terrorism was signed between Turkey and Syria on October 20, 1998. It clearly stated that the Damascus government would not allow any activities of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group on Syrian soil, and would block any terror activities that could threaten Turkey's sovereignty.

Saraqib fully controlled by Syrian government: Military source

Additionally, Russia's TASS news agency, citing an unnamed military source, dismissed allegations that Turkish-backed Takfiri militants had recaptured the strategic town of Saraqib, which lies close to a junction between two major highways.

"Militants' attacks against the city of Saraqib have been successfully repelled by Syrian government troops. The city is fully controlled by the Syrian government," the source said.

He added, "Despite regular attacks by militants, mine clearance and preparations for restoring civilian life continue there."

Syrian army liberates seven villages in Hama countryside

In another development, SANA reported that Syrian army has liberated seven villages, including al-Howash, al-Howeijeh, Tanjara, al-Ankawei, al-Omqiyeh, ShirMaghar and al-Arima, on the northwestern countryside of the city of Hama after carrying out intensified operations against the terrorist organizations in al-Ghab plain area and eliminating the last terrorist gatherings there.

SANA added that the Syrian army's artillery pounded terrorist's positions and fired rockets targeting their fortifications and supply routes in the vicinity of al-Howash, al-Howeijeh, Tanjara, al-Ankawei, al-Omqiya, ShirMaghar and al-Arima in al-Ghab villages.

The report noted that the Syrian military operations eliminated a number of terrorists, destroying their weapons and ammunition, with Syrian soldiers chasing the terrorists who fled away.

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