BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:30 P.M.) – The Turkish military has allegedly moved an air defense system into northwestern Syria despite the ongoing ceasefire in the Idlib Governorate.
According to some reports, the Turkish military moved their Leopard 2A4 tanks and ATILGAN air defense system into the Idlib Governorate.
A recent photo released this past week showed the alleged transportation of the ATILGAN air defense system as a Turkish military convoy entered northwestern Syria.
Leopard 2A4 tanks, ATILGAN air defense, ACV-15 armored personnel carriers, Turkish convoy in Idlib. pic.twitter.com/8BQntuOnt4
— Y.N.M.S (@ynms79797979) March 19, 2020
If this is in fact true, it would appear that the Turkish military is preparing itself for another confrontation with the Syrian military.
According to the Russian Aviation publication Avia.Pro, “as for the ATILGAN air defense systems themselves, in fact, this installation is a complex equipped with 8 Stinger missiles and is a threat only for targets located at altitudes below 4 kilometers; however, given the fact that the Russian aerospace forces were used in Syria’s Su-25 attack aircraft and Su-24 bombers at heights lower, the danger still exists.”
With an air defense system in Idlib, the Turkish military will be able to shoot down Syrian jets deeper into Syrian territory and limit their reliance on their own aircraft.
Earlier this month, the Turkish military shot down at least three Syrian jets that were conducting raids near the border of the Hatay Province and Idlib Governorate.