Photo released by Turkish Defense Ministry shows Turkish army launches a military operation into northern Syria on the Turkey-Syria border, on Oct. 9, 2019. Turkish Armed Forces on late Wednesday began a land operation into northern Syria against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). (Xinhua)
Photo released by Turkish Defense Ministry shows Turkish army launches a military operation into northern Syria on the Turkey-Syria border, on Oct. 9, 2019. Turkish Armed Forces on late Wednesday began a land operation into northern Syria against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). (Xinhua)

The Syrian army shot down a Turkish drone in the northwestern province of Idlib on Tuesday, state news agency SANA reported.

The army gunned down the drone in the town of Dadikh in the southeastern countryside of Idlib, said the report without giving further details.

This came amid heightened tension between Syria and Turkey over the situation in Idlib province.

A day earlier, the Turkish army captured the town of Nairab in the eastern Idlib countryside after eight hours of intense fighting and heavy Turkish shelling against the Syrian army, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A total of nine Syrian soldiers were killed by the Turkish shelling, said the Britain-based watchdog group.

Later on, the Syrian forces fired surface-to-surface missiles on the town.

The town is strategic for the Turkish forces and allied rebels due to its proximity to the M4 highway, which connects Aleppo with Latakia province in northwestern Syria.

The town is also considered the gate for capturing the city of Saraqeb, a strategic area that has been captured by the Syrian army recently as it overlooks the M5 highway that connects Damascus in the south with Aleppo in the north.

The Syrian army secured the entire M5 highway and opened it for travel.

On Tuesday, the observatory said the Turkey-backed rebels captured several areas near Saraqeb.

The Syrian army has been on a crushing offensive to eliminate the ultra-radical rebel groups in Idlib and nearby Aleppo province.

Turkey, which supports the rebels, wanted to bring the Syrian offensive to a halt in Idlib, leading to several confrontations between both sides. Enditem

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