A Syrian opposition group reported on Feb. 14 that they downed a Syrian regime helicopter in a "de-escalation zone" in northwest Syria.
The helicopter was hit directly while flying over the western Aleppo province, in a rural area of Aleppo that falls within the de-escalation zone of the neighboring province of Idlib.
The U.S. special envoy for Syria visited Turkey on Feb. 11 to re-evaluate the recent developments in the region.
Speaking to reporters at Ankara's Esenboğa International Airport, James Jeffrey said Turkey, as a NATO ally, encountered a great threat in Idlib, northwestern Syria, coming from the Assad regime and Russia.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 11 vowed that the Syrian regime, which attacked Turkish troops in northwestern Syria's Idlib province, would pay a "heavy price."
The president also said he would announce a series of new steps on Feb. 12 that Turkey would take against Bashar al-Assad's regime over attacks on Turkish soldiers in Idlib.
Turkish hosted a Russian delegation in the capital Ankara on Feb. 8 to discuss the escalating situation in Idlib, northwestern Syria.
According to diplomatic sources, the Turkish and Russia delegations held a three-hour meeting which stressed the need to ensure peace on the ground and discussed steps to boost political process.
President Donald Trump said on Feb. 6 that the U.S. at his direction has conducted a counter-terrorism operation in Yemen that killed Qassim al-Rimi, an al-Qaeda leader who claimed responsibility for last year's deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, where a Saudi aviation trainee killed three American sailors.
Turkey's presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said that changing borders of the Idlib de-escalation zone in northwestern Syria, as determined by Astana and Sochi agreements, is out of the question.
Speaking at a news conference on Feb. 6, Ibrahim Kalın said it is not possible for Turkey to accept any proposal of change regarding the de-escalation zone.