A drone strike by Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) on Friday destroyed a Russian-made Pantsir S-1 air defense system deployed by Assad forces in Syria’s Idlib.
The footage circulated online showed the defense system’s radar was active moments before the impact, indicating that the system failed to detect the incoming missile.
Carrying a price tag of $75 million, the air defense system is currently used by 12 countries and it was reportedly deployed in Libya by Russian mercenary firm Wagner.
Following the regime’s attack on Thursday that killed 33 Turkish soldiers northwestern Syria’s Idlib, TSK carried out airstrikes and artillery shelling throughout Friday.
Backed by heavy Russian airstrikes, Syrian regime forces have been fighting since the start of the year to recapture the Aleppo countryside and parts of neighboring Idlib, the last opposition stronghold in the country. The advances have sent hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing toward the border with Turkey in the biggest single displacement of the nine-year war.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone, in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited. But more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone since then, as the cease-fire continues to be violated.
More than 1 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to the intense attacks.
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