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Iran Press TV

Several Turkish forces killed in Syrian-Russian strikes in Idlib: SOHR

Iran Press TV

Monday, 24 February 2020 2:56 PM

At least 10 Turkish army soldiers have reportedly been killed or injured following joint airstrikes launched by the Syrian and Russian air forces in Syria's embattled northwestern province of Idlib.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) made the claim on Monday, saying the casualties took place near the town of Kansafra in the southern sector of Idlib countryside.

The SOHR also claimed that several Turkish military vehicles had been burned and damaged as a result of the aerial bombardment.

The Turkish Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the claims. However, if confirmed, the new fatalities could put the Turkish military's death toll in the past week at over 20.

The observatory reported on Saturday that as many as 2,700 Turkish military vehicles had been sent into Syria over the past 19 days, as the Syrian government forces advance in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo.

The Britain-based war monitor reported that a Turkish convoy of 80 vehicles had entered Idlib, and that 7,400 Turkish soldiers had been deployed in the area and neighboring Aleppo.

Last week, Russia warned Ankara against launching attacks against Syrian army soldiers after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to commence a military operation in Idlib region.

Ankara has been beefing up its military presence in Idlib, the last militant bastion in a nine-year war, where several anti-Damascus militant outfits receive Turkey's support in their persisting militancy against the Syrian government.

Syria and Russia have condemned Turkey's cross-border offensive into the Arab country, which was carried out to allegedly clear anti-Ankara Kurdish militants from a sliver of land bordering the Anatolian country.

Back in 2018, Moscow and Ankara reached an Iran-brokered deal, known as the Sochi agreement, to set up a de-militarization zone mainly situated in northern Idlib.

However, the Takfiri Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorist group, which is the dominant terror organization in the province, and other militant groups, along with those supported by Ankara, have been launching attacks on army and civilian targets from the buffer zone, where Turkish observation posts have been established to monitor the enforcement of the ceasefire there.

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