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The situation in the province escalated further after Turkish President Erdogan claimed that the developments in Idlib were unfolding in Turkey’s favour, despite the deaths of three Turkish soldiers.
Some 33 Turkish soldiers have been killed as a result of an airstrike in the Syrian province of Idlib, Rahmi Dogan, the governor of the Hatay province, located close to the Turkish border with Syria, said.
Initially, Dogan said that the airstrike killed nine, adding that the injured were transported to Turkey.
After the incident, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan chaired an emergency security meeting on the current situation in Idlib, Anadolu Agency said.
The northwestern province of Syria has been tense since early February, as local militants intensified attacks against Syrian government forces. The Russian military has revealed that Ankara backed the militants in the area with artillery fire.
· Turkish Soldiers Injured as Syria Responds to Terrorists’ Attack in Idlib – Russian Military
The Russian Centre for Syrian Reconciliation was constantly receiving updates from Turkey on the exact location of Turkish troops deployed to terrorists’ combat areas.
Despite this, when Syrian government troops responded to the attack, Turkish soldiers, who were among the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham* members, came under fire in the area around the settlement of Behun, the Russian Defence Ministry said, adding that, according to the information provided by Turkey, no units of the Turkish Army were present or could be present there.
Upon learning that Turkish soldiers sustained injuries, Russia took the necessary steps to urge Syrian forces to cease fire. Turkish officers who were killed or injured in Idlib were later evacuated safely to their country.
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (also known as al-Nusra Front) is a terrorist group banned in Russia
Russian Air Forces Did Not Carry Out Strikes in Area Where Turkish Servicemen Were Hit – Moscow
“Russian Aerospace Forces have not used aviation in the area of Behun”, the official statement said.
Video of Turkish Forces Destroying Syrian Military Hardware Released
Turkey Releases Footage of Recent Attacks on Syrian Military in Idlib
02:53 GMT 28.02.2020
The situation in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib worsened sharply on Thursday, after 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in an airstrike.
Washington Hopes Turkey Will Give Up on Russian S-400 Following Airstrikes in Idlib – US Envoy to NATO
“I hope that president Erdogan will see that we are the ally of their past and their future. And they need to drop the S-400”, said Kay Bailey Hutchison, US Ambassador to NATO.
Turkish Defence Minister Arrives in Tactical Command Center Near Syrian Border to Control Anti-Damascus Op – Report
UN Secretary-General Guterres Following With ‘Grave Concern’ Situation in Northwestern Syria
“The Secretary-General reiterates his call for an immediate ceasefire and expresses particular concern about the risk to civilians from escalating military actions. Without urgent action, the risk of even greater escalation grows by the hour”, the UN spokesperson said.
33 Turkish Servicemen Killed in Airstrike in Syria’s Idlib – Hatay Governor
Turkish Urgent Security Meeting on Idlib Over, No Following Statement Expected
Idlib Escalation: US ‘Stands By Its Nato Ally Turkey’ – State Department
“We stand by our NATO Ally Turkey and continue to call for an immediate end to this despicable offensive by the Assad regime, Russia, and Iranian-backed forces”, a State Department representative said.
Turkish Forces Destroy Syrian Military Convoy in Idlib – Report
The Turkish army has destroyed a military convoy belonging to the Syrian government forces in eastern Idlib, the Sabah newspaper reported, citing an unnamed source.
NATO Chief Stoltenberg Condemns Airstrikes ‘By Syrian Regime and Russian Ally’
Turkish Users Report Issues Accessing Social Media – Netblocks
NetBlocks.org says social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, have been restricted in Turkey for over two hours, following the escalation in Syria’s Idlib. Users have also experienced problems with WhatsApp and YouTube.
· Consultations With NATO to Begin Friday Morning, AK Party Spokesman Omer Celik
“The consultation process with NATO is starting tomorrow. We expect concrete steps from NATO”, Celik said.
Opposition CHP Spokesperson Faik Oztrak Calls For Close-Door Parliament Meeting on Syria
“While we have dozens of martyrs, the Turkish Grand National Assembly should not remain silent”, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) spokesperson Faik Oztrak said.
‘We Cannot Hold Refugees Anymore’, AK Party Spokesman Omer Celik Says
“Our refugee policies remains the same, but we cannot hold refugees [coming from Syria] anymore”, Celik said.
Turkey Cannot Stem Migrant Flow From Syria, AK Party Spokesman Says
21:26 GMT 27.02.2020
The move comes in anticipation of a possible new flow of refugees from Syria’s Idlib province, where nearly a million people have been displaced.
29 Turkish Servicemen Killed in Airstrike in Syria’s Idlib, Hatay Governor Says
“Seven people of those seriously injured have died, so the number of our dead soldiers increased to 29. A total of 36 soldiers were wounded, their treatment continues”, Dogan said on the NTV television channel. 22:56
· ‘Syria Will Pay For Treachery’: AK Party Spokesman Omer Celik Claims After Death of 22 Turkish Troops
Turkey Threatens Retaliation After Death of 22 Soldiers in Idlib
“The blood of our hero soldiers will not be left on the ground. Our ongoing activities in the Syrian field will continue until the hands extended to our flag are broken”, said Turkish presidency communications director Fahrettin Altun.
He also called on the international community, the Astana-model participants in the first place, to fulfill their responsibilities.
“It is decided to respond to the illegitimate regime [of Syria] in the same way that it is aimed at our soldiers. With our air and ground fire support elements, all known targets of the regime have been fired upon. We call on the Astana Process to fulfill its responsibility, especially the parties, and the international community”.
Cavusoglu, NATO Secretary General Spoke by Phone Amid Escalation in Syria’s Idlib
“Our minister had a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg”, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
22 Turkish Servicemen Killed in Airstrike in Syria’s Idlib, Hatay Governor Says
Syrian Air Defence Down Turkish Drone That Targeted Gov’t Positions in Idlib’s Maarzaf
“In violation of the Sochi accords, the Turkish side continues to support the actions of illegal armed groups in the Idlib de-escalation zone by artillery fire and the use of reconnaissance and strike drones in attacks on the units of the Syrian armed forces”, the head of the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation, Rear Admiral Oleg Zhuravlev said on Thursday.
Syrian Air Defences Down Turkish Drone That Targeted Gov’t Positions in Country’s North – MoD
19:04 GMT 27.02.2020
Russia and Turkey are currently holding a series of talks on Syria’s Idlib, an area that saw an increase in violence in early February as militants intensified attacks against Syrian government positions in the province.