Turkish Hand Suspected as 2nd Syrian Army Helicopter Shot Down in Days
Erdogan threatened something like this days ago
Syria has lost over 100 aircraft in the war since 2012 to various causes so this isn’t exactly unprecedented but the last time the rebels shot down a Syrian aircraft was in August 2019 when a Su-22 fighter-bomber was brought down, possibly by automatic cannon. The last rebel success against Syrian aircraft before that was the forcing down of a Mi-8 helicopter a year earlier in September 2018.
All taken into account it seems very likely that the Turks have either recently started handing over shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to the rebels, or have been shooting at Syrian aircraft themselves.
The latter option would be a more direct form of aggression but would allow Turkey to retain more control.
Either way, the question is what happens should a Russian aircraft be shot down with the loss of a crewman?
In another first, the Turks have started handing over armored personnel carriers to the rebels. That has not been a wild success. The rebels have already lost 3 or 4 in a failed counter-attack on Syrian army positions.
KafarHalab 3-4 ACV pic.twitter.com/djy5DLI6tf
— ZOKA (@200_zoka) February 14, 2020
Suriye Milli Ordusu’nun Halep’in batisinda yeni bir rejim helikopterini daha dusurdugu iddia ediliyor.pic.twitter.com/yGiaWBi1Ws
— Turan Oguz (@TyrannosurusRex) February 14, 2020
We urge our army to arm the PKK inside Turkey with the same manpads anti aircraft missiles Erdogan supplied to al-Qaeda in Syria to shoot our planes. An eye for an eye. This is the only language Turkey understands.
— Fares Shehabi (@ShehabiFares) February 14, 2020