We reported previously that an increasing number of advanced shoulder fired "Man-portable air-defense systems" or MANPADS are showing up in Idlib, alarmingly in the hands of al-Qaeda linked factions such as US terror designated Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
But now the Kremlin is charging Turkey's military with orchestrating the campaign to shoot down Russian aircraft over the war-torn northwest Syrian province.
Reuters now reports that "Russian state television said on Thursday Turkish military specialists in Syria's Idlib region were using shoulder-fired missiles to try to shoot down Russian and Syrian military aircraft."
The report aired Thursday the Rossiya 24 channel:
"Their own and Russian planes are saving the lives of Syrian troops in a literal sense," said the Rossiya 24 report. "Syrian and Russian planes are stopping the rebels again and again. But the sky above Idlib is also dangerous. The rebels and Turkish specialists are actively using portable air defense systems."
Recent footage out of Idlib showed Russian aircraft deploying countermeasures to escape an incoming shoulder-fired rocket.
The following video was published to social media and was widely circulated last week:
Jihadists on the ground fighting a major Syrian-Russian air and land offensive have over the past month downed at least two Syrian helicopters and possibly other aircraft.
Syrian aircraft operating over al-Qaeda occupied Idlib have lately been shot down:
Meanwhile, it appears that as Turkey and Russia are at the height of tensions over Idlib, Putin and Erdogan are back to not talking. A widely reported meeting between the two leaders set for next week has been denied by the Russian side.
Clear video showing Turkish soldiers targeting a Russian jet with a Stinger missile and trying to down it.— Serge (@Zinvor) February 27, 2020
Soldiers screaming for the missile to hit the target in Turkish. pic.twitter.com/FJiRBUAvvc
As more MANPADs pop up in Idlib, it's worth reviewing the following article: Where Does ISIS Get Those Wonderful Toys?