On Friday, the Russian military refuted Turkish claims about the deaths of dozens of Syrian servicemen in Idlib, adding that such statements could only lead to an escalation of the situation.
Tensions in Idlib, one of four de-escalation zones in Syria, intensified last week after the Turkish Defence Ministry said that eight Turkish military personnel and a civilian died in shelling by Syrian troops on one of Turkey’s observation posts in the province.
As a result, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to take retaliatory measures if Syria’s armed forces failed to stop their operations in the zone and withdraw from the areas close to Turkey’s observation posts by the end of February.
Tensions in Syria began to escalate earlier this month after eight Turkish nationals were killed in shelling by Syrian forces on Turkey’s observation posts in Idlib.
On Friday, a Syrian army helicopter was downed over Al Atarib in the province of Aleppo, the second helicopter that the Syrians have lost in the past week.