World, Middle East

Turkey neutralizes 55 Syrian regime troops

Move comes after regime attacks on Turkish troops in consecutive weeks

Yildiz Aktas   | 13.02.2020
Turkey neutralizes 55 Syrian regime troops


Turkey's Defense Ministry said Wednesday that its forces neutralized 55 Syrian regime soldiers in northwestern Idlib province.

“According to the latest information received from our sources in Idlib, 55 regime troops have been neutralized today,” the ministry said in a statement.

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

The latest development comes in the wake of an attack by regime forces earlier this week that claimed the lives of five Turkish troops.

It followed an attack last week by regime forces in Idlib that martyred seven Turkish soldiers and one civilian contractor working with the Turkish military. More than a dozen people were also injured.

Turkey retaliated for both attacks, hitting scores of targets and killing 200 Assad regime troops.

Turkish troops are in Idlib -- nominally a cease-fire zone, under a deal between Turkey and Russia -- 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.

But more than 1,800 civilians have been killed in attacks by regime and Russian forces since, flouting a 2018 ceasefire and a new one that began on Jan. 12.

More than 1 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks in the past year.

Turkey remains the country with the most refugees in the world, hosting more than 3.7 million migrants since the start of Syria’s civil war.

*Writing by Sibel Morrow

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