Su-24 warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) provided the Syrian Arab Army with close air support allowing it to repeal a large attack in Idlib de-escalation zone, the Center for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides announced on February 20.
“In order to prevent terrorist groups from advancing deep into Syrian territory, Su-24 aircraft of Russia’s Aerospace Force delivered a strike at the request of the Syrian command against the terrorists’ armed formations that had penetrated the area. This helped the Syrian troops to repel all the attacks successfully,” the center’s statement reads.
According to the statement, Russian warplanes destroyed a battle tank, six infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) as well as five pick-up trucks armed with large-caliber guns.
The militants’ attack targeted the town of al-Nayrab in southern Idlib. The Russian Reconciliation Center confirmed that the Turkish military provided the militants with fire support, allowing them to breach SAA’s defenses in the town.
Several pro-government sources, including the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), confirmed that al-Nayrab is under the SAA’s full control now.
Besides receiving close air support from the VKS, the SAA employed its heavy fire power during the clashes around al-Nayrab. The army targeted the attackers with BM-30 Smerch heavy rocket launchers and even OTR-21 Tochka tactical ballistic missiles.
The failed attack on al-Nayrab was the largest Turkish-backed operation against the SAA in Idlib’s de-escalation zone, thus far. Such provocations by Ankara jeopardize the chances of a peaceful solution for the region’s crisis.