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Turkish Defence Ministry says it neutralised 50 Syrian forces in Idlib offensive as tensions escalate  

Ankara/Damascus: A conflict has sparked between Syria and Turkey in Idlib. After losing two of its soldiers in the Syrian government air raids, Turkey was angered and launched retaliatory strikes where it claims to have killed over 50 Syrian soldiers. Furthermore, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the Turkish forces would not withdraw from Idlib as long as the Russian-backed Syrian forces continue to launch attacks in the region. Meanwhile, reports revealed that Russian fighter jets were countering Turkey’s aggression on the Syrian soldiers.  

       

Turkish President Erdogan had threatened to retaliate to the Syrian military action in Idlib. After that, the Syrian and Russian fighters carried out airstrikes on the locations of the Turkish-backed groups. The Syrian army has stated that they launched the offensive to regain complete control of Syria’s northwestern region of Idlib, last rebel-held region in the country. Nevertheless, the Turkish Defence Ministry has asserted it claimed the lives of two of its soldiers.  

‘Syria launched attacks in the region even though Turkey had made its deployment for the establishment of peace and providing humanitarian aid,’ Turkey criticised. ‘The Turkish military offensive that followed has caused significant damages to the Syrian military. At this time, more than 50 Syrian government forces were neutralized. Also, five military vehicles, two armoured military trucks and one Howitzer battery of the Syrian army were destroyed,’ the Turkish Defence Ministry stated.  

The Syrian army has not yet commented on Turkey’s claims. However, this becomes the second most significant attack Turkey has launched at the Syrian government forces in the past two months. Syria’s previous assault on Idlib had claimed the lives of 13 Turkish troops. Soon after that, Turkey had asserted to have killed more than 70 Syrian soldiers. Not only that, but Turkey threatened to attack anywhere in Syria if its soldiers were attacked again.  

Contrarily, the Russian Defence Ministry has alleged that Turkey was striking the Syrian soldiers to protect the militants Syria was targeting. Russia went on to state that it was leading to clashes between the Syrian and Turkish militaries. Alongside the Syrian army, Russia’s Sukhoi-24 fighter jets were also targeting the Turkish-backed terrorists. 

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