Syria closes its airspace in the northwest amid tensions with Turkey
Syria announced on Sunday the closure of its airspace in the northwest of the country, especially in the province of Idlib, and warned that it will tear down all the devices that violate its airspace at a time of great tension between Ankara and Damascus.
The official SANA agency and state television reported, citing a military source, the "closure of airspace for any device overflight northwestern Syria, especially over the province of Idlib."
"Any device that violates our airspace will be treated as a hostile flight and will be shot down to prevent it from achieving its objectives," the source said.
This decision comes just when the state agency reported the demolition of a "Turkish drone that had entered Syrian airspace" in the city of Saraqeb, east of Idlib.
Syria and its ally Russia are those that dominate the airspace of the areas of the Mediterranean country under their control.
Turkey lived one of its worst episodes three days ago after about thirty soldiers died from an attack by the Syrian Army, which caused a response that also left deaths in the ranks of Syrian units.
During the month of February there have been different events between which both countries have faced directly tense the situation in northwestern Syria, considered the last opposition stronghold in the country.
Syria accused Turkey, a supporter of the Syrian opposition, of "continuing to carry out hostile actions" against its armed forces that are "in and around the province of Idlib, either aiming at positions of our soldiers (...) or delivering all kinds of support to armed organizations classified as terrorists, "according to SANA.
Idlib and western Aleppo are practically dominated by the Liberation Agency of the Levant, an Islamist alliance that includes the Syrian al Qaeda ex-affiliate, which Moscow and Damascus consider "terrorist."
Turkey has sent military reinforcements and equipment to opposition factions during the past month, which they have taken advantage of to launch counteroffensives and have managed to recover some areas that the Syrian Army took from them in recent weeks, such as the strategic city of Saraqeb.
After consolidating in February the perimeter of the city of Aleppo, the second most important in Syria, troops loyal to President Bachar al Asad opened a new front this week in southern Idlib and northern Hama to finish controlling those areas .