Gains by the Syrian army in the northern and northeastern countryside of Latakia province on Tuesday may have prompted Turkey to shoot down a Russian aircraft.

According to Al-Manar TV in Lebanon, the Syrians have established control over the strategic Kitf al-Ghadr and al-Malouheh hills and al-Mirkashliyeh village in the northeastern countryside of Latakia province.

Al-Manar is a Lebanese satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah.

The analytical project SouthFront reports:

The Syrian forces backed up by the Russian warplanes, pushed back the militant groups from nearly 200 kilometers of land in the coastal province of Lattakia, military sources said Monday. On Sunday, the Syrian army and popular forces purged the terrorists and advanced to areas near the Turkish borders. The ground reports argue that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) took control of Zahia heights, 2km from the joint borders with Turkey.

In July Turkey deployed additional troops and equipment along a section of its border with Syria.

In addition to supporting the Islamic State and other jihadi groups fighting in Syria, Turkey supports Turkmen in the Latakia region. Last Friday the Turkish government summoned the Russian ambassador in Ankara over airstrikes in the area.

Turkish media reported on Tuesday Turkmen fighters were responsible for killing two crew members of the downed Russian aircraft. The crew members were machine-gunned as they parachuted from the aircraft.


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