Turkey hits back after Syrian shells kill Turkish troops

Source:Yahoo News Date:04Feb2020

Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkish forces had hit 54 targets in Idlib in retaliation and “neutralised” 76 Syrian government soldiers, the state-owned Anadolu agency reported.


Speaking later in the Ukrainian capital, he said developments in Idlib had become “unmanageable”.

The Syrian Observatory, a war monitor based in Britain, said 13 members of the Syrian government forces had been killed in Turkish shelling. A Syrian state TV correspondent said there had been no casualties among its government forces.


Despite being on opposing sides Moscow and Ankara have largely sought to coordinate their actions in Syria, says the Guardian. Although Turkey is dependent on Russian cooperation to continue its operations in Syria’s northeast, and despite the two countries’ trade, energy and defence links, Monday’s developments point to growing friction in the relationship. Further fighting between Turkish and regime forces could risk a serious escalation in Syria’s nine-year conflict.

“If Russia is unable to control the Assad regime from targeting us, we will not hesitate to take actions against any threat, just as we did today in Idlib,” the Turkish presidency’s communications director Fahrettin Altun wrote on Twitter.

Also speaking on Monday, the Turkish president said the operation in Idlib was ongoing and reiterated a warning to Assad’s backers in Moscow not to stand in the way of the Turkish action.

“Those who test Turkey’s determination regarding Syria’s Idlib with such treacherous attacks will realise their mistake,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters before his departure from Ankara for Ukraine.