Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

A convoy of Turkish military vehicles is pictured near the town of Hazano in the rebel-held northern countryside of Syria's Idlib province, on March 3, 2020.

AAREF WATAD/AFP/Getty Images

Turkey shot down a Syrian fighter jet in Syria’s Idlib province Tuesday, marking the third such incident in as many days, as steady clashes between the two national armies continued over a Russia-backed Syrian government offensive near the Turkish border.

State-run Syrian media said troops shot down a Turkish drone, keeping up a clash in the skies over the northwestern province that has gone on for days and signalled a new stage in the 9-year-old war.

Ahead of a much-anticipated summit later this week between the presidents of Turkey and Russia, the two main power brokers in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov again laid the blame for the escalation squarely on Turkey.

Story continues below advertisement

Russian officials have said they hold Turkey responsible for the collapse of a ceasefire agreement reached in Sochi, Russia in 2018, saying Ankara had not held up its end to rein in militants who continued attacking Syrian and Russian targets.

“The solution to the problem lies in implementing the (Sochi) agreements. They are not being implemented,” Lavrov said after meeting with his Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto in Helsinki on Tuesday. He expressed hope that the scheduled Thursday meeting between Russian and Turkish presidents in Moscow will change the situation.

Keeping up the pressure on the battlefield, Turkey’s military downed a warplane belonging to Syrian government forces – for the third time since Sunday. The Syrian military said Turkish forces targeted a warplane with a missile as it was carrying out operations against “terrorist groups” in the rebel-held Idlib region, causing it to crash northwest of the town of Maaret al-Numan. The fate of the crew was not clear.

Turkey has sent thousands of troops into Idlib to support the opposition fighters holed up there, but hasn’t been able to roll back the government’s advance.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he hopes to broker a ceasefire in Syria later this week when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

But the Russian-backed offensive into the country’s last rebel-held area has led to increasingly frequent clashes between the Syrian and Turkish armies that have killed dozens on both sides. It has also threatened a collapse in Turkish co-operation with Moscow, a key backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Turkey’s Defence Ministry said one Turkish soldier was killed and nine others were wounded in an attack Tuesday, prompting Turkey’s military to strike at 82 Syrian government targets in retaliation. Another soldier was killed on Monday, the ministry said. That raised to 56 the Turkish losses this month in clashes with Russian-backed Syrian forces. The death toll includes 33 Turkish soldiers killed Thursday in a single air strike.

Story continues below advertisement

The government’s offensive has also sparked one of the Syrian war’s worst humanitarian crises. Almost a million Syrian civilians have fled north toward the sealed Turkish border, overwhelming camps already crowded above capacity.

Tensions in Idlib rose following the Syrian strike that killed the 33 Turkish soldiers. Turkey responded with drone attacks and shelling that killed more than 90 Syrian troops and allied gunmen.

Outraged by the assault against its forces in Syria, Turkey has opened its western borders for thousands of migrants and refugees wanting to cross into Europe, triggering a rush on the land and sea frontiers with Greece. It is Ankara’s latest bid to pressure the European Union to help handle the fallout from the disastrous Syrian war. Turkey, which hosts over 3.5 million Syrian war refugees, was an early supporter of the rebels who sought to topple Assad after an uprising against his rule erupted in March 2011.

Lavrov said Moscow fully understands the severity of the migrant issue and what it means for the European Union.

“We’re engaged in a dialogue with the EU on this issue but we cannot stop fighting terrorism to solve the refugee problem, even though we are constantly being called upon to do so,” he said.

Idlib, home to more than 3 million civilians, is dominated by al-Qaeda-linked factions, but Russia and the Syrian government label all opposition to Assad as “terrorist.”

Story continues below advertisement

Meanwhile, the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, announced the U.S. would provide an additional $108-million in humanitarian assistance for Syrians in response to the crisis. Craft, who travelled to Turkey’s border with Syria, said the funds would provide food, shelter, clothing and other material for people in Syria and the region.

“While money will help address urgent needs, it’s not the answer,” Craft said.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies