Turkey shot down two Syrian SU-24 warplanes and destroyed three Syrian air defense systems, the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
The jets were shot down as they attempted to attack Turkish planes, the ministry said, without giving further details. Turkey bombed Syrian air defense systems after they downed one Turkish armed droned in Idlib, it said.
A Turkish Anka-S drone was also downed by Syrian Army.
On Mar. 1, 2020, two Syrian Arab Air Force Su-24 jets and a Turkish Anka-S drone were reportedly shot down over the Idlib region, in northwest Syria, where tensions have escalated after 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in an air strike by Damascus prompting Ankara to ramp up its attack against the Syrian army as part of its cross-border military operation dubbed “Spring Shield”.
The jets were shot down as they attempted to attack Turkish planes, the Turkish ministry said, without giving further details, although several sources suggest that the two Syrian Fencers were shot down by Turkish Air Force F-16s. Interestingly, Ankara also bombed the Syrian air defense systems that downed one Turkish armed droned in Idlib. According to the Syrian Arab News Agency the aircrews of the Syrian jets ejected with parachutes and landed safely.
Video supposed to show one of the Su-24 downings have started ciculating on social media:
The Su-24 Fencer is a swing-wing attack plane operated by both the Syrian Arab Air Force (and by the Russian Air Force that has deployed the type in Syria for the first time in 2015). The Su-24 Fencer is a supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft developed in the Soviet Union and serving, among the others, even with the Iranian and Libyan Air Force. It’sa twin-engined two-seater plane with a variable geometry wing, designed to perform ultra low level strike missions.
On Nov. 24, 2015, a Russian Air Force Su-24M belonging to the contingent deployed to western Syria, was shot down by a Turkish Air Force F-16 after violating Ankara’s airspace in the Hatay region. Here you can find all the details about the downing and subsequent CSAR (Combat SAR) mission launched by Russian choppers, one of those was destroyed by rebels on the ground, where the helicopter had performed an emergency landing. According to the Turkish authorities, the Russian plane was warned 10 times in 5 minutes while it approached the boundary with another Su-24, before it was engaged.
The violation was extremely short: flying at 19,000 feet, the Fencer crossed the Turkish airspace for 17 seconds. While one of the Fencers egressed towards the Syrian airspace, the doomed Su-24 was hit by an air-to-air missile (AIM-9X, based on the Russian report that mentions an IR-guided weapon; other sources suggested it may have been an AIM-120).
Anyway, few hours before the downing of the Syrian Su-24s, footage started to appear on Twitter of the Turkish drone shot down by the Syrian Air Defense. Initially believed to be a fighter jet, it was later clearly identified as a Turkish Anka-S drone. Another Anka-S was shot down in Syria on Feb. 25, 2020.
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