A Turkish drone strike killed three and wounded two members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in Syria’s northwestern Aleppo province on Sunday, following an attack by the jihadist group on Turkish positions, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Meanwhile, the war monitor reported Turkey had recruited nearly 10,000 Syrian mercenaries to join the country’s military operations in war-torn Libya.
The tit-for-tat moves came after Turkish forces near the town of Al-Nayrab dispersed a sit-in protesting a ceasefire agreement between Turkey and staunch Syria backer Russia.
The escalation turned violent when protesters threw stones and the military turned to live rounds, killing four in the process, including members of HTS, an Islamist militant group led by a former al-Qaeda affiliate, the Observatory said.
The jihadist group retaliated by attacking Turkish positions near Al-Nayrab, resulting in at least two Syrians killed and one Turkish soldier wounded, said security analyst Metin Gürcan.
“HTS (extremists) attacked our soldiers with anti-tank missiles (this is the first time)” Gürcan tweeted.