Turkey says it has struck back against Syrian military targets after at least five of its soldiers and three civilians attached to the Turkish army were killed by Syrian government forces in the war-torn country’s Idlib region.
Turkey’s Defence Ministry said on Monday that seven of its troops were also wounded in shelling by Syrian government forces in the last rebel-held stronghold in Syria.
The ministry said its forces, who were sent in as reinforcements, came under fire despite advance notification of their coordinates. But Russia, a major backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said later on Monday the Turkish troops were shot overnight due to a lack of information.
The developments are likely to further increase tensions between Turkey and the Syrian government as such direct clashes have been rare. They could also cause friction between Moscow and Ankara, which have sought to coordinate their actions in Syria.
Erdogan claimed Turkish fire killed between 30 and 35 Syrian troops.