Russian Su-35S fighters allegedly intercepted F-16 aircraft of the Turkish Air Force and forced them to leave Syrian airspace, Al-Masdar News reports.
It was said that Turkish fighters were forced to leave the sky above Idlib after they covered a distance of 30-40 kilometers. This indicates that Turkish pilots either received a warning from Russia or saw Russian combat aircraft on radar screens.
After the incident, Russian Su-35 fighters were seen in the vicinity of the city of Khan Shaykhun. It was said that the Russian military aircraft took off from Hmeymim airbase to deter Turkish planes from adventurous actions. No other details have been reported.
On August 19, the Syrian Air Force struck a column of Turkish military vehicles that invaded the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. Nothing was reported about any losses. Armoured personnel carriers of the Turkish Army crossed the Syrian border and entered the city of Sarakib on August 19. The military vehicles were traveling towards Khan Shaykhun.
The de-escalation zone in Idlib is one of the four de-escalation zone in Syria, which was created by Russia and Turkey in 2017. Most of its territory is still not demilitarized and remains under the control of the Hayat Tahrir al-sham* group (HTS, created on the basis of Jabhat al-Nusra* - terrorist organizations, banned in Russia) and the armed Syrian opposition.
Both Russia and Ukraine have been increasing their military presence on the border between the two countries lately. Russia warned Ukraine against any military scenarios