Airstrike kills 33 Turkish soldiers in Syria

At least 33 Turkish soldiers are dead after a strike during a battle in Idlib which had earlier been reclaimed by Turkey-backed rebels, while Russia says troops were amongst 'terrorists'.

Iran PressMiddle East: An airstrike hit a Turkish military force in northern Syria on Thursday night, causing dozens of casualties and risking already strained relations between Ankara and Moscow.

At least 33 Turkish soldiers were killed and up to 50 wounded in the airstrike which came during a battle for a key northern town which had earlier been recaptured by Syrian-rebel militias backed by the Turkish military, Telegraph reported.

"On Thursday Turkish soldiers who were in the battle formations of terrorist groups came under the fire of Syrian troops," the defense ministry said in a statement.

In recent days, the Syrian army has managed to liberate several areas and villages in the south and east of Idlib province.

The province of Idlib is the last base of terrorists in Syria.

Syrian Army has reclaimed significant territory since launching a stepped-up offensive in December, including areas around some of the Turkish military posts in Idlib.

Turkey first sent troops to Syria in 2016 and has sent reinforcements to the northwest in recent weeks to contain the assault.

That has led to a series of confrontations, including deadly clashes this week that saw government shelling kill five Turkish troops.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened the Syrian government in recent days, saying the offensive violates a 2018 deal with Russia meant to prevent a broad military operation.


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