The Turkish army deployed US-made medium-range surface-to-air MIM-23 Hawk missiles in Syria’s Idlib Idlib, satellite images showed.
Shared on social media, the images reveal the location of the air defense system in Al-Mastoumah camp, which is located five kilometers south of Idlib city.
The camp is strategically located along the Idlib-Latakia M4 Highway.
This is not the first time Ankara deploys such a defense system in Syria. In early 2018, Turkey sent the system to Dar Izza in the western Aleppo countryside.
The deployment of the MIM-23 HAWK system means that the Turkish army will no longer need to rely on fighter jets and drones to down Syrian regime fighter jets.
Sources at the Syrian armed opposition justified the deployment of the defense system as being part of Turkish measures to protect its borders against any regime attacks.
The HAWK system was developed in the 1960s but has been improved over the years. It has the ability to destroy aircraft flying at an altitude of up to 20 kilometers and has a range of 40 kilometers.
Local sources in Idlib noticed an unprecedented movement of Turkish military forces in Idlib, particularly following Saturday’s visit by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar to the border with Syria, where the army is pushing military reinforcements to Idlib.
A column of dozens of Turkish vehicles was seen crossing into Syrian territory, via the Kafr Lusin crossing.