Russia accuses Turkey of illegally sending strike drones into Syria's Idlib

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s Defense Ministry late on Thursday accused Turkey of illegally sending strike drones into Syria’s Idlib region to support rebels fighting Syrian government forces, and of providing artillery support for them.

The ministry made the allegation after Syrian rebels backed by Turkish forces said they had recaptured the crossroads town of Saraqeb, marking a first big push-back of a Syrian government offensive.

Russian state TV earlier on Thursday said Turkish military specialists in Idlib were using shoulder-fired missiles to try to shoot down Russian and Syrian military aircraft.

The Russian ministry said Turkey was in breach of agreements it had made with Russia over Syria.

It said a Turkish strike drone had illegally entered Syrian airspace on Tuesday and been destroyed by Syrian government air defenses while preparing a strike on government troops.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn; editing by John Stonestreet