As we have reported earlier that on February 11, 2020, the Syrian Air Force helicopter was shot down in the country’s northwest, killing the two crew members on board in a fiery crash.
According to the initial reports, the Syrian regime helicopter was reportedly shot down by Syrian rebels fighters but now according to the latest reports, a Turkish F-16C Fighting Falcon, deployed at the Turkish Incirlik airbase reportedly shot down a Syria Mi-17 helicopter.
The aircraft was reportedly downed by an AIM-120 AMRAAM air to air missile from a distance of around 60km.
Turkish media reported that the Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter, entering Syrian airspace, hit a Syrian military helicopter with an air-to-air missile, which carried out attacks on jihadist positions in Idlib province.
The order to hit the target was given personally by the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The Syrian Mi-8/17 military helicopter was shot down by a Turkish-owned F-16C fighter, and President Erdogan personally ordered the attack, Ankara’s press service said. Turkish media reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan personally ordered to attack the Syrian helicopter. In order to destroy the Mi-17 helicopter of the Syrian Air Force in Idlib province, the Turkish Air Force F-16C fighter used the AIM-120 Advanced Range air-to-air missiles. The press also reports that the Turkish Air Force will bring down more Syrian Air Force planes over Idlib, if necessary. The attack, which took place near Nerab in western Syria, occurred after the forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime killed five Turkish soldiers. “- сообщает edition of Defense Romania.
It should be clarified that the media do not confirm the evidence that the Turkish combat aircraft invaded airspace, however, experts believe that Ankara could only act for sure, since Russian combat helicopters also fly over Idlib and Aleppo, and the defeat of the Russian rotorcraft is instant would turn out to be a missile strike for Turkey.
Footage of the falling Mi-17 was captured by militants on the ground, but the moment the helicopter was struck was not captured leaving the nature of the attack somewhat ambiguous.
An hour ago, this Mi-17 utility helicopter of #Syria Arab Air Force was shot-down over Al-Nayrab, #Idlib. #AlQaeda affiliated & #Turkish backed militias are trying to take responsibility, but it is certainly known that #Turkey targeted this helicopter. pic.twitter.com/ZRzx9ShrlV
— Babak Taghvaee (Backup) (@BabakTaghvaee1) February 11, 2020
A number of reports from Russian sources have indicated that the helicopter was thought to have been attacked by a Turkish fighter which took off from Incirlik Airbase – where F-16s which shot down a Russian strike fighter in 2015 were also based.
The Mi-17 was operating deep in Syrian territory, meaning if it was a Turkish strike it would constitute another illegal act of aggression on Ankara’s part.
Syrian forces for their part have not carried out any strikes on Turkish territory, and have yet to respond to ongoing Turkish operations on their territory.
Russia has sought to mediate the conflict between the two parties but has on occasion deployed its elite Su-35 heavyweight fighters based in Syria to intercept Turkish incursions into Syrian airspace and attacks on Syrian personnel.