Introduction — July 17, 2015
Iranian, Chinese (below) and local newspapers are reporting that Syrian forces downed a Turkish drone over the north west of the country Thursday.
Officials in Ankara have yet to comment but this is not the first time a Turkish drone has reportedly gone down over Syria. In March Russian media carried reports that a Turkish drone had been shot down over the embattled city of Aleppo.
Earlier this month Turkey gave permission for U.S. drones to launch strikes into Syria, allegedly to strike at Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) militants operating there.
However, many suspect that the Western campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria is being used as a cover. This latest report adding weight to those arguments that the West is using the war against Islamic State in Syria as a pretext for efforts to oust President Assad.
Syria downs suspected Turkish drone over Idlib province
Xinhua — June 16, 2015
The Syrian air defense forces have shot down a Turkish drone over the northwestern province of Idlib, local al-Watan newspaper said on Thursday.
The drone was downed over the town of Talet Khattab, about 10 km east of the city of Jisr al-Shughour, near the Turkish borders, the paper said.
Sources of the paper said the drone was likely spying for the Turkey-backed Jaish al-Fath rebel group, following repetitive attempts by the group to storm Talet Khattab area.
The rebels have stormed much of Idlib province over the past few months. The Syrian government has repeatedly accused Turkey of rendering support to the insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad’s leadership.