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Turkish forces heavily shell Syrian army positions in NE Syria

DAMASCUS, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — The Turkish forces carried out heavy shelling on Syrian government positions in the countryside of Tal Tamr town in the northeastern province of Hasakah on Tuesday, a war monitor reported.

No human losses are reported from the shelling yet, but it targeted several areas controlled by the Syrian government forces and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Earlier, three Syrian pilots were killed on Tuesday when Turkish forces shot down their helicopter in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, according to the observatory.

The Turkish forces targeted the helicopter over the al-Nayrab area in the northeastern countryside of Idlib.

The downing of the helicopter comes as the Syrian rebels attacked al-Nayrab on Tuesday before the Syrian army launched a counter-offensive and retook much of the town.

The incident also marks a new heightened tension between Turkey and Syria in Idlib as the confrontations happen almost daily.

A day earlier, five Turkish soldiers were killed by Syrian targeting of a Turkish-held Syrian air base in Idlib.

The Turkish forces have also been amassing forces and allied Syrian rebels to attack government positions in Idlib and retake the areas that have recently fallen to the Syrian army during the latter’s wide-scale offensive over the past two months.

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