World, Americas

US conveys its condolences to Turkey

Message comes in wake of Assad regime attack on Turkish troops in northwestern Syria

Fahri Aksut   | 11.02.2020
US conveys its condolences to Turkey

ANKARA

The U.S. embassy in Ankara published a condolence message Monday for five Turkish soldiers martyred in an attack by Syrian regime forces. 

"We send our condolences to the friends and families of the five Turkish soldiers killed today and [wish a] speedy recovery to those wounded," the embassy said on Twitter.

"We stand by our NATO ally Turkey and will continue to oppose the normalization of the Assad regime into the international community," it said.

At least five Turkish troops were martyred and five wounded in an attack earlier in the day by forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Idlib, northwestern Syria.

Turkey's Defense Ministry said its forces rapidly retaliated against the Assad regime forces under the rules of engagement and its right to legitimate self-defense.

According to the Defense Ministry, 115 Syrian regime targets were hit and 101 regime military personnel neutralized.

Turkish authorities often use the term "neutralized" to imply that those in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

The incident followed an attack last week by regime forces in Idlib which martyred seven Turkish soldiers and one civilian contractor working with the Turkish military and injured more than a dozen people. Turkish forces struck more than 50 targets and killed 76 Syrian soldiers in retaliation.

The Turkish troops are in Idlib as part of an anti-terror and peace mission.

Idlib has been a stronghold of the opposition and anti-government armed groups since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

Since then, however, more than 1,800 civilians have been killed in attacks by regime and Russian forces, flouting both the 2018 ceasefire and a new one that came into effect on Jan. 12. 

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