Turkey, World, Middle East

Turkey retaliates attack on troops in Idlib: Official

Presidential spokesman says perpetrators of attack in de-escalation zone to pay price

Burak Bir   | 03.02.2020
Turkey retaliates attack on troops in Idlib: Official


Turkey's presidential spokesman on Monday condemned the Bashar al-Assad regime forces’ attack on Turkish soldiers in northwestern Syria, which left four soldiers martyred and nine others injured.

"I wish Allah's mercy on our four soldiers who were martyred in Idlib in the regime forces' attack, condolences to their families and quick recovery to the wounded. This attack on the Idlib agreement was immediately retaliated," Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Twitter.

Kalin added that the perpetrators of the attack will pay the price.

Turkey’s communications director also condemned the attack and extended his condolences to the families of the martyrs.

Turkey will bring perpetrators to account for the “treacherous attack,” Fahrettin Altun wrote on Twitter.

At least four Turkish soldiers were martyred and nine others injured in intense shelling by the regime forces in northwestern Syria.

Cease-fire violations

Located in the northwestern Syria, Idlib province is the stronghold of the opposition and anti-government armed groups since the outbreak of the civil war.

It is currently home to some four million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces from throughout the war-weary country.

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

The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the zone, killing at least 1,300 civilians since the agreement.

In a fresh move, Turkey announced on Jan. 10 that a new cease-fire in Idlib would start just after midnight on Jan. 12. However, the regime and Iran-backed terrorist groups continued their ground attacks.

More than 1.3 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks since the beginning of 2019.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.

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