On March 1, Turkish media and al-Qaeda-affilated sources claimed that Turkish-led forces had shot down a Syrian warplane that was bombing Saraqib in eastern Idlib.
Some pro-al-Qaeda sources even claimed that the Turks shot down a Russian Su-24. These reports were immidiately denounced by the Russian Defense Ministry. The Syrian Defense Ministry also said that no Syrian warplane had been shot down.
A closer look at the videos released by militants allow to see that the downed ‘warplane’ was a unmanned combat aerial vehicle with a marking of the Turkish Air Force. The downed UCAV was likely belonging to the Anka family.
Therefore, there are two explanations of the incident:
- Turkish-led forces accidentally shot down their own drone operating over Idlib;
- The Syrian Air Defense Forces shot down a Turkish drone operating over Idlib (The Syrian state media just started circulating this version);
Taking into account that Turkey supplied its proxies with MAPNADs, the version with the ‘friendly fire’ looks more than likely. So, the Syrians should not be greedy and leave the credit for this strike to their Turkish counterparts.
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