BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:40 A.M.) – Turkey has allegedly prohibited the jihadist rebels in northern Syria from using anti-aircraft missiles against Russian jets, the news site Avia.Pro reported.
According to the Russian publication, the Turkish Armed Forces handed over portable anti-aircraft missile systems (i.e. MANPADS) to protect themselves and their territory from Syrian Air Force strikes.
However, the jihadist rebels, specifically Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham, were reportedly prohibited from using these MANPADS against the Russian Air Force. The Russian and Turkish armed forces maintain good relations in Syria, despite their disagreements on the leadership of the country.
Initially, it was reported that dozens of FIM-92 Stingers were handed over to Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham, but Avia.Pro believes, citing recent photographs from northern Syria, that the MANPADS are Soviet-era anti-aircraft missiles.
The militant forces did capture a large quantity of these Soviet-era MANPADS during the first years of the war. The MANPADS were left behind by the Syrian Arab Army and recovered by groups like the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
It is worth noting that the jihadist rebels have downed a Russian military helicopter before; this occurred in late 2015.