A leading U.S. Democratic lawmaker on Friday urged solidarity with Turkey in the wake of a deadly Assad regime attack on Turkish soldiers.
"The situation in Syria is dire, and the catastrophe unfolding in Idlib is horrific. Millions of women & children are on the run with nowhere left to go," Steny Hoyer, the majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, said in a Twitter post.
"The U.S. must work with Turkey to protect civilians. Swift action must be taken," Hoyer urged.
Late Thursday, at least 33 Turkish soldiers were martyred and dozens of others injured in an airstrike by Assad regime forces in Idlib, Syria de-escalation zone, just across Turkey’s southern border.
The Turkish soldiers are working to protect local civilians under a September 2018 deal with Russia under which acts of aggression are prohibited in the region.
But more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by Assad and Russian forces in the zone since then, as the cease-fire continues to be violated.
Thursday’s attack was one of a series since January on Turkish troops, with Turkish officials keeping their pledge that such assaults would not go unanswered.
The de-escalation zone is currently home to 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces throughout the war-torn country.
More than 1.7 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks.
Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making it the world’s top refugee-hosting country.
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