In Syria, Turkish soldiers killed by the regime’s army

Turkish soldiers have been targeted by artillery fire from the Syrian regime in the Idlib region of northwestern Syria, the Turkish defense ministry said on Monday [February 3rd].

"Four of our brothers in arms fell as martyrs and nine were wounded, including one seriously, by artillery fire fed by the forces of the regime"said the ministry in a statement, adding that the Turkish military had responded and "Destroys multiple targets".

Spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erodgan, Ibrahim Kalin, also said that the Turkish military had responded, suggesting that further measures would be taken.

Observation posts in the Idlib region

Turkey has deployed soldiers to 12 observation posts in the Idlib region as part of an agreement with Russia to end violence in the latter stronghold dominated by jihadists and rebels in Syria. But the forces of Bashar Al-Assad's regime, supported by Moscow, have for several weeks intensified their offensive in this province, increasing the deadly bombardments.

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Ankara, which supports Syrian rebel groups, has raised its voice in recent days, going so far as to criticize Russia with which Turkey, however, cooperates closely in Syria.

According to Turkish media reports, Ankara has deployed reinforcements to its observation posts in recent days.

The deadly bombardment against Turkish forces on Monday is likely to escalate tensions. Direct shocks between the Turkish military and Syrian regime forces have been rare since the start of the conflict that has ravaged Syria since 2011.

In 2016, Ankara implicated the Damascus regime after the death of four Turkish soldiers in an aerial bombardment in the Al-Bab region. Russia had denied any involvement of its forces or those of the regime.

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