MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian state television said on Thursday Turkish military specialists
in Syria’s Idlib region were using shoulder-fired missiles to try to shoot down Russian
and Syrian military aircraft.
The assertion, aired during a report from Idlib on the Rossiya 24 channel, came as
Turkish and rebel officials said Syrian rebels, backed by the Turkish military, had
seized the town of Nairab in Idlib.
“Their own and Russian planes are saving the lives of Syrian troops in a literal
sense,” said the Rossiya 24 report. “Syrian and Russian planes are stopping the rebels
again and again. But the sky above Idlib is also dangerous. The rebels and Turkish
specialists are actively using portable air defense systems.”
It said Russian and Syrian planes were therefore being forced to take counter-measures
after carrying out bombing runs on rebel positions.
Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Gareth Jones