Syrian government helicopter downed in Idlib

Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters sit at a back of a truck in the border town of Tal Abyad, Syria October 27, 2019. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

A Syrian government helicopter was downed in a rural area west of Aleppo in Syria’s Idlib region, where violence and displacement have spiked in recent weeks, Turkish state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Friday.

Turkey’s military has sent additional arms and troops to Idlib, on its southern border, to confront a push by Syrian government forces to retake the country’s last major rebel stronghold after nearly nine years of war.

As a new wave of violence hits Idlib and Western Aleppo, Save the Children confirms that as many as 200,000 children and their families have been forced to abandon their homes in northern Syria over the last two months.

According to the United Nations, 34 children—14 girls and 20 boys—have died in the escalating violence since January 15, 2020. Throughout January, at least 37,000 children have been forced to flee in the bitter Syrian winter, often taking only what they are able to carry.