A Turkish military convoy of tanks and armoured vehicles passes through the Syrian town of Dana, east of the Turkish-Syrian border in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province. AFP
DAMASCUS, Feb 3 (MENA) - Four Turkish soldiers were killed and nine wounded, one of them seriously, in shelling by Syrian regime forces in northwest Syria’s Idlib region on Monday, Al Arabiya reported quoting the Turkish defense ministry as saying.
It said Turkish forces retaliated against the attack and destroyed targets in the Idlib region. It added that the Syrian forces carried out the shelling despite being notified of the positions of the Turkish forces beforehand.
Three Turkish military convoys entered Syrian territory from the Kafrlosin border crossing on Sunday, according to a Syrian war monitor, two days after President Erdogan said Turkey may launch a military operation in Idlib.
Sunday’s bombardment also killed 14 civilians.
The shelling by Syrian government forces was carried out “against our elements sent as reinforcements to prevent clashes in Idlib, despite their positions being coordinated beforehand,” the Turkish defense ministry statement said.
Turkey has 12 military observation posts around Idlib, set up under a 2017 agreement with Russia and Iran. Several of them have since been surrounded by advancing Syrian regime forces.
On Friday, regime forces battled extremists and moderate opposition forces on the outskirts of Idlib’s Saraqib, which has been nearly deserted following two weeks of heightened bombardment, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.