Feb 06 2018

Russia may have set up no-fly zone in Syria – claims

Turkish airstrikes inside Syria have stopped ever since a Russian plane was shot down over Idlib on Saturday, various sources have said.

“There were no Turkish airstrikes in #Afrin according to contacts since the downing of the Russian jet in #Idlib,” the Syrian Civil War Map account tweeted.

U.S.-based Turkish journalist Amberin Zaman also reported hearing similar things from U.S. sources.

“U.S. sources are guessing that Russia has today shut the airspace to Turkey and they are connecting this to the Turkish Armed Forces not carrying out an air operation today,” she tweeted in Turkish.

Syria’s Al Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham claimed the downing of the Russian jet, which was apparently shot down by a shoulder-held surface-to-air missile (MANPADS), the Washington Post said.

Turkey is responsible for monitoring a “de-escalation zone” in northern Idlib under the terms of an agreement made with Russia and Iran at Astana in Kazakhstan in October 2017.

“We have information that the MANPADS used to bring down our jet was brought into Syria from a neighbouring country several days ago. Countries from whose territory weapons arrive, that are then used against Russian servicemen, must understand that this will not go unpunished,” the Asia Times quoted Russian lawmaker Dmitry Sabin as saying.

Turkey responded by saying a Turkish destroyed the same day may have been shot with a Russian-made anti-tank missile, the newspaper said.