Turkey deploys U.S. missile systems to Syria - analyst

Turkey has sent a new military convoy carrying anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria, BulgarianMilitary.com said on Sunday, citing a source in Syria.

The deployment, which reportedly included the medium-range anti-aircraft missile system MIM-23 Hawk, was sent to the northwest Syrian province of Idlib on Saturday, said BulgarianMilitary.com. 

The MIM-23 Hawk complex was created in the United States in the late 1950s. It can hit targets at an altitude of up to 18 kilometres and a range of up to 25 kilometres.

BulgarianMilitary.com also reported that a United States military convoy consisting of several vehicles was sent from a base in the area of ​​the Koniko gas field in the province of Deir al-Zor towards the province of Hasakah.

Over the past three months Turkey has deployed military force to try to halt the Syrian army's advance on the last rebel held province of Idlib that has displaced around 1 million people. 

A new counter-offensive - Operation Spring Shield - was launched by Turkey on March 1 after at least 36 Turkish soldiers were killed in an air strike at the end of February that has been attributed to Russian planes backing Syrian forces.

Turkey had asked the United States to deploy two U.S.-made Patriot batteries on Syria border after the killing of Turkish soldiers, however, Washington has left Ankara's demands unanswered, citing the problems related to Turkey's purchase of Russian air defence systems.

Turkey and Russia launched joint military patrols earlier this month along the M4 highway in Idlib as part of a ceasefire agreement made on March 5 by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to end the fighting in the province between Turkish-backed forces and the Syrian military, which is backed by Russia.