The Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement on Mar. 1, 2020 that the Turkish Air Force (TuAF) shot down two Syrian Sukhoi Su-24 (NATO reporting name: Fencer) attack aircraft and destroyed three Syrian air defense systems.
The Su-24s were shot down hours after forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad brought down a Turkish drone over Idlib region, Syria.
In a Twitter post in fact, Turkey’s defence ministry said its forces downed two Su-24 aircraft in response to the downing of the drone.
The Syrian strike aircraft were brought down as they were trying to attack Turkish aircraft, the ministry pointed out, without giving further details. The ministry added that his country bombed Syrian air defense systems after they downed one Turkish armed droned in Idlib.
According to Syria’s SANA news agency, the Su-24 aircraft were shot down over northwestern Idlib province and no one was hurt in the attack. The pilots ejected safely, it added.
As reported by Bloomberg, the fighting in Syria’s Idlib has been escalating since Turkey suffered its biggest single military loss there on Feb. 27, when an airstrike killed at least 33 Turkish soldiers. Turkey made retaliatory strikes against Russian-backed Syrian government forces.
Turkey is fighting to prevent the fall of Idlib, the last rebel bastion in the country, fearing a mass exodus of refugees toward Turkey.
The shoot-downs came as Turkey announced a full-scale military operation named “Spring Shield” against Syrian targets.
Photo credit: SANA
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