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    Are Turkey and Syria Close to Starting a War?

    On February 11, a Syrian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter transport helicopter was flying high on a bombing three miles south of Idlib city when team operating man-portable air defense system opened fire. The missile arced upward into the overcast sky and struck the helicopter, which erupted in flames and spun down to the Earth before disintegrating entirely as you can see in this video.

    Another video depicts the missile launch from the ground. Amongst the rebel fighters observing the attack can be seen a soldier wearing a helmet and body armor of a Turkish Land Forces soldier.

    It’s not clear whether the missile that downed the Mi-17 was a Syria-sourced Strela or Igla missile, or a Stinger missile of Turkish origin. But the shoot down was perceived as merely the most dramatic Turkish retaliation in a series of escalating, deadly clashes as Turkish ground forces attempt to block the Syrian government from wiping out the last major rebel stronghold in Syria’s Idlib province. 

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