Ankara – Turkey said on Thursday that two Turkish soldiers were killed and another five were wounded in Syrian government air strikes near the northwestern region of Idlib on Thursday, adding that more than 50 Syrian forces had been killed in retaliation.
The attacks come a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdoganwarned of an imminent Turkish military offensive in Idlib, where Syrian forces, backed by Russia air power, have mounted an offensive to capture the region. Earlier this month, 13 Turkish soldiers were killed in Syrian attacks, prompting Erdogan to say that Turkey will strike Syrian forces “anywhere” in Syria if another soldier was hurt.
In a statement, the defense ministry said five tanks, two armored personnel carriers, two armored trucks and one howitzer were also destroyed in retaliation. Shortly after Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said the soldiers, who were in Idlib to “establish peace and manage humanitarian aid operations,” were killed by “an attack carried out by the (Syrian) regime.”