The Syrian military has deployed new air defense systems and anti-aircraft missiles to cover frontlines in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, Reuters reported on February 5 citing “a commander in the military alliance fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad“.
“They cover the air space of the Syrian north,” the commander told Reuters, describing the deployment as a “message to everyone”. The air defences had been sent to frontlines with militants in rural areas of Aleppo and Idlib.
Turkish warplanes have been mounting air strikes against the northwestern Syrian Kurdish region of Afrin, which is part of Aleppo province, as part of a major offensive targeting Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters.
The decision to increase air-defense capabilities in the area follows the increased tensions between the Turkish Armed Forces and the Syrian Arab Army in southern Aleppo.
This may also limit the ability of the Turkish Air Force (TAF) to conduct airstrikes on positions of YPG fighters in the Afrin region. The TAF had already decreased its air campaign in the area, allegedly under Moscow’s pressure after the incident with the Russian Su-25 warplane in the province of Idlib.