The Turkish Air Force, in particular drones, have become a real problem for Syrian troops over the past two weeks, reports the popular Russian publication "Moskovskij Komsomolets". The author, citing Turkish media, writes that Turkish drones destroyed at least 22 Syrian BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles, 13 122-mm Gvozdika and 152-mm Acacia self-propelled howitzers during this period.
The article states that Turkish Air Force drones destroyed at least 55 tanks: 13 T-55, 7 T-62, 23 T-72, one T-90 and 11 other tanks of an unidentified model.
"The number of destroyed army trucks, pickup trucks and cars has not yet been assessed. Also, the Turkish reconnaissance drones ensured the high accuracy of artillery fire, which opened up gaps in the defense of the Syrian forces," the article reads.
The author believes that the Turkish Air Force has effectively used the fact that all combat-capable air defense systems of the Syrian army are used to repel regular raids by the Israeli Air Force.
Earlier, the head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria, Oleg Zhuravlev, said that Russia cannot guarantee safety for Turkish aircraft in Syrian airspace.
He stressed that Damascus had decided to close the airspace due to the aggravated situation. "Under these conditions, the command of the Russian troops cannot guarantee the safety of Turkish aviation in Syrian airspace," Zhuravlev said.
Syrian state news agency SANA reported on Sunday, March 1, that Turkey shot down two Syrian planes over Idlib. The pilots ejected. Information about the downed Syrian planes was confirmed in Ankara.
The Russian Defense Ministry denied earlier reports that the Su-24 of the Russian Air Force was shot down over Idlib with an anti-aircraft missile system.
"The reports on militants’ internet resources about the alleged downing of the SU-24 aircraft of the Russian Air Force over the Idlib de-escalation zone are fake," RBC news agency quoted Russian Defense Ministry officials as saying.
On March 5, the leaders of Russia and Turkey are to hold talks in Moscow. Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan will discuss the situation in Syria and sharply deteriorated relations between Moscow and Ankara.