According to the Russian Reconciliation Centre for Syria, pro-Turkish militants, with the support of the Turkish artillery, broke through the defences of the Syrian army in the areas of Qminas and Nayrab.
Russian Su-24 aircraft have conducted airstrikes against pro-Turkish terrorists, which allowed the Syrian troops to repel all attacks successfully, the Russian Reconciliation Centre for Syria said in a statement.
“The Syrian troops destroyed one tank, six infantry fighting vehicles and five pickup trucks containing large-calibre weapons”, the message said.
The Centre also added that four Syrian servicemen were injured by Turkish artillery. The organisation went on to say that Turkey halted shelling against Syrian government troops as soon as Russia notified Ankara that it had detected the Turkish artillery fire.
“This is not the first time that the Turkish armed forces support the militants. In order to prevent incidents, we urge the Turkish side to stop supporting the actions of terrorists and transferring weapons to them”, the centre emphasised.
In the meantime, the Turkish Defence Ministry reported that two Turkish servicemen were killed, while five others were injured in an air attack in Syria’s Idlib.
The ministry added that over 50 Syrian ‘regime elements’ were destroyed, including five tanks, two armoured personnel carriers, two armed pickups and a Howitzer.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Defence Ministry refuted a report by Bloomberg claiming that Ankara had asked Washington to supply Partiot air defence systems to Turkey to repel attacks by Syrian troops, backed by Russian combat aircraft based in Syria.
“This report is false”, the ministry’s spokeswoman Nadide Sebnem Aktop said in response to a relevant question.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, meanwhile, said that Ankara has no problems with Moscow amid the new escalation in Syria’s Idlib, as the main target of the Turkish armed forces there is the Syrian army.
Akar added that Turkey is not urging the United States to intervene militarily in Syria, adding at the same time that Washington may deliver Patriot defence systems to Turkey.
Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Ankara is not satisfied with Russian-Turkish negotiations on Idlib, and is ready to launch an offensive in the region. The Kremlin characterised this as the worst-case scenario.