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Turkey hitting Syrian regime positions after soldiers killed in Idlib: Presidency

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Ankara, Turkey   /   Fri, February 28, 2020   /   07:43 am
Turkey hitting Syrian regime positions after soldiers killed in Idlib: Presidency Turkey-backed Syrian fighters ride a tank in the town of Saraqib in the eastern part of the Idlib province in northwestern Syria, on February 27, 2020. Syrian rebels reentered the key northwestern crossroads town of Saraqib lost to government forces earlier this month but fierce fighting raged on in its outskirts today, an AFP correspondent reported. (AFP/Bakr Al-Kasem)

Turkey was retaliating against the Syrian regime after 22 Turkish soldiers were killed in an air strike blamed on Damascus, an official said Friday, as he urged the international community to fulfil its responsibilities.

"All known targets of the regime have come and will continue to come under fire from the air and ground," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's communications director, Fahrettin Altun, said in a statement.

"We urge the international community to fulfil its responsibilities," Altun added, to stop the regime's "crimes against humanity".

"We cannot stand by and watch as past events in Rwanda, and Bosnia and Herzegovina are repeated today in Idlib," Altun said.

Turkey's activities on the ground in Syria would continue, he added.

Syrian rebel supporter Ankara has 12 observation posts in Idlib, set up after a 2018 deal with Damascus ally Russia in a bid to prevent a regime offensive.

But despite the agreement, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has pressed ahead with an assault to retake the last rebel-held bastion, backed by Russian air support.

The latest incident means a total of 42 Turkish security personnel have been killed this month in Idlib.

Ruling party spokesman Omer Celik told CNN Turk broadcaster on Friday that Turkey was "fed up with condemnations and statements," adding Ankara sought "concrete" action from its international partners.

"The regime elements are now an enemy element for the Turkish Republic," Celik added. "This is not just an attack on Turkey, but an attack on international law, the international community."

Some soldiers were injured after the latest incident and taken to hospital in Turkey for treatment, local officials said, without giving exact figures.