Turkish-backed Forces Target Russian Military Helicopter in Al-Hasakah

Esteban Carrillo
https://media.thecradle.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/27235301/http___com.ft_.imagepublish.upp-prod-us.s3.amazonaws.jpgTurkish occupation forces in Northern Syria. (Photo credit: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters)

The attack comes just days before the Russian and Turkish Presidents are set to meet in Sochi

Local sources in Syria’s Al-Hasakah governorate reported on 27 September that Turkish-backed forces fired an anti-aircraft missile against a Russian helicopter flying over the village of Al-Dardara in Tel Tamr countryside.

The missile reportedly missed its target after the Russian aircraft maneuvered itself out of the area.

The attack by forces allied with Ankara comes as Moscow has intensified airstrikes over the past few days in the rebel-held northern regions of Syria.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Russian airstrikes in the city of Afrin on 26 September left at least seven militants dead and 11 wounded.

On Sunday, Russian warplanes also renewed raids on the villages of Basovan and Barad outside of Aleppo. In response to these airstrikes, Ankara has deployed reinforcements to Aleppo governorate.

This latest escalation in Syria’s 10-year war took place just two days before Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi to discuss a deal reached last year that ended a Russian-backed Syrian army offensive in Idlib, one of the last opposition strongholds not under Syrian government control.

Over the weekend, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the implementation of last year’s agreement to stop the spread of terror groups in Syria’s rebel-held regions has been slow, and that Ankara has to fulfill their obligations in that agreement.