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10 Feb, 2020 13:44

Turkey strikes Syrian Army positions after ‘5 troops killed in shelling’

Turkey strikes Syrian Army positions after ‘5 troops killed in shelling’

Five Turkish troops were killed in the shelling of an observation post in Syria’s Idlib province, Ankara has said, blaming Damascus for the attack. Turkish forces then fired on Syrian Army positions.

“Five of our troops were killed and five others were injured in the shelling by the Syrian regime,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Monday, adding that “return fire was opened.”

It’s not the first shelling incident between Turkish and Syrian forces in Idlib. A week ago, six Turkish troops were killed by Syrian artillery fire in an incident that Russia said was a result of miscommunication.

The casualties could have been avoided if Ankara properly notified Damascus that it was moving troops in a border area where Damascus was holding an anti-terrorist operation at the time, Moscow said.

Also on rt.com Turkey failed to notify of convoy movements in Syria’s Idlib before getting shelled by Damascus troops – Russian military

Turkey retaliated for the Monday attack, claiming that dozens of Syrian troops were killed, and called on Moscow to put pressure on Damascus to halt its offensive in Idlib.

The Idlib province in northwestern Syria remains the last terrorist enclave in the country. The area has been declared a “de-escalation zone” under an agreement between Russia, Turkey and Iran.

Also on rt.com Withdraw behind observation points, or Turkey will do what is necessary – Erdogan to Syrian troops

Ankara is expected to use its influence on anti-government militants to prevent fighting with Damascus troops in order to create the basis for a peaceful resolution.

However, jihadist groups in Idlib continue hostile activities, with Russia saying there were several thousand attacks in the last two months alone, in which hundreds of Syrian troops and civilians died.

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