Turkish-backed rebels down Syrian helicopter

Amid spiraling clashes in the Syrian northwestern province of Idlib, Turkish-backed rebels Tuesday shot down a Syrian Mi-17 helicopter near the town of Nerab, the day after 5 Turkish soldiers were killed by government forces. Ankara claimed to have retaliated with strikes on “115 government positions.” Turkish-backed rebels are trying to push back the rapid Syrian government advance to regain Idlib, the last province still in rebel hands. On Tuesday, regime forces said they had retaken the M5 motorway linking Damascus to Aleppo through Homs and Hama, gaining control of the key route for the first time since 2012. A Russian team has meanwhile flown out of Ankara after failing to halt the tension between Turkey and Syria.

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