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US News Syrian airstrike kills at least 29 Turkish soldiers in Idlib, Turkish official says

04:25  28 february  2020
04:25  28 february  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

‘It’s Like the End of the World’

  ‘It’s Like the End of the World’ A slight man in a cotton jacket, carrying a knapsack, shivered in the cold, waiting for the Turkish border gate to Syria to open. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are trying to get out of Syria. Yahya Jamal, 21, was trying to get back in.His father had just died, he said. His family had fled their home under bombardment and were sleeping under the trees. So even though he had smuggled himself into Turkey several months ago, he was going back to Syria to help them.“There is nowhere to take them,” he said, his face white with shock. “It is impossible to find a safe place.

Earlier on Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that three Turkish soldiers had been killed in Idlib . It was not clear whether those deaths were included in the total cited by the The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said 34 Turkish soldiers had been killed .

21:00 At least nine Turkish soldiers have been killed in Idlib , a governor of a Turkish province bordering Syria has said . Hatay Governor Rahmi Dogan said they were killed after airstrikes carried out by the Syrian government. Turkey has vowed a military response for the deadly attack against its

(Video by Time)

ISTANBUL —Turkey said Thursday that an airstrike by the Syrian government killed 29 of its soldiers in Idlib, a war-torn province in northwestern Syria that has become the site of an increasingly volatile military confrontation among Ankara, Damascus and Moscow.

The death toll was the highest for Turkish forces in a single day since Turkey began ramping up the deployment of troops to Idlib this month to block a Russian-backed Syrian military offensive. At least 36 Turkish soldiers also were wounded, according to Gov. Rahmi Dogan of Hatay province, who announced the soldiers’ deaths. 

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At least 22 Turkish soldiers have been killed in an airstrike by Syrian "regime forces", a Turkish provincial governor has said . Several more were badly hurt in the attack in Idlib in the north-west, Hatay governor Rahmi Dogan said . Other reports put the death toll higher.

21:00 At least nine Turkish soldiers have been killed in Idlib , a governor of a Turkish province bordering Syria has said . Hatay Governor Rahmi Dogan said they were killed after airstrikes carried out by the Syrian government. Turkey has vowed a military response for the deadly attack against its

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan convened an emergency meeting of his top security officials Thursday night, local media reported, amid unconfirmed reports that the Turkish death toll was higher. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a monitoring group, said 34 Turkish soldiers had been killed.

a lot of smoke around it: Smoke billows over the town of Saraqib in the eastern part of the Idlib province in northwestern Syria, following bombardment by Syrian government forces. (Photo by AREF TAMMAWI/AFP via Getty Images) © Aref Tammawi/Afp Via Getty Images Smoke billows over the town of Saraqib in the eastern part of the Idlib province in northwestern Syria, following bombardment by Syrian government forces. (Photo by AREF TAMMAWI/AFP via Getty Images)

The SOHR, as well as the Hatay governor, said the Syrian attack on the Turkish troops had occurred in southern Idlib province, where Turkey maintains military observation posts.

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At least 22 Turkish servicemen have been killed in an airstrike in Syria ’s Idlib province, while an unspecified number of soldiers were injured. The airstrike has been attributed to the Syrian military by Turkish officials . “ In Idlib , Turkey ’s armed forces were targeted by the regime elements in an

Nine Turkish soldiers have died in a 'Russian airstrike ' this evening in Syria , state media reported. The governor of Hatay Doğa said the soldiers had been attacked in Idlib by regime forces and as a result 'nine were martyred'. Vladimir Putin's Russia has backed the Syrian regime and has been

Fahrettin Altun, Erdogan’s spokesman, said Turkey would “retaliate against the illegal regime, which pointed their guns at our soldiers.”

Turkey has been trying to halt a rapid advance by the Syrian army across Idlib province and nearby areas, which have been held by rebels opposing the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The province is largely controlled by an extremist group that once was formally associated with al-Qaeda.

Gallery: Tensions in Syria (Photo Services)

The Syrian offensive has sparked a massive humanitarian crisis and sent hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians fleeing toward the Turkish border. Russia, which is the Syrian government’s principal ally, has carried out airstrikes to aid the Syrian advance and provided Assad’s forces with other military support.

Syria ceasefire to start within hours after Russia and Turkey strike deal

  Syria ceasefire to start within hours after Russia and Turkey strike deal Russia and Turkey have agreed a ceasefire in Idlib in northwestern Syria, coming into force at midnight. It comes after the county's leaders, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held more than six hours of talks in Moscow aimed at ending hostilities in the country's last rebel stronghold.Mr Putin has expressed hope that the deal could end civilian suffering and help contain a humanitarian crisis, nine years after the start of Syria's civil war.

Turkey has called for the restoration of a de-escalation agreement between Ankara and Moscow and threatened to take further military action if Syrian forces do not withdraw from areas they have captured in Idlib. But negotiations between Ankara and Moscow over the past month aimed at securing a cease-fire have repeatedly faltered as the violence has grown more intense.

In recent days, a flurry of Russian airstrikes allowed Syrian forces to capture a swath of territory in southern Idlib. Turkey and its rebel allies, meanwhile, recaptured a city in eastern Idlib that sits at the junction of two strategic highways, Syrian activists said Thursday.

Smoke billows over the town of Saraqib in the eastern part of the Idlib province in northwestern Syria, following bombardment by Syrian government forces, 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. (Photo by Aref TAMMAWI / AFP) (Photo by AREF TAMMAWI/AFP via Getty Images) Smoke billows over the town of Saraqib in the eastern part of the Idlib province in northwestern Syria, following bombardment by Syrian government forces, 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. (Photo by Aref TAMMAWI / AFP) (Photo by AREF TAMMAWI/AFP via Getty Images)

At least 18 Turkish soldiers had been killed in Idlib before the deaths of the soldiers Thursday, according to a tally by the Associated Press. Erdogan said earlier Thursday that three Turkish soldiers had been killed in Idlib. It was not clear whether those deaths were included in the total cited by the governor. 

A short memorial ceremony was held for two of the slain soldiers at Hatay’s airport Thursday morning. An honor guard saluted the two caskets, which were resting in the cargo bay of a Turkish military plane. Passengers on a nearby commercial flight, many visibly upset, captured video of the moment on their phones.

The Trump administration has voiced support for Turkey, its NATO ally, as Erdogan’s government wades deeper into the battle for Idlib. Ankara has asked Washington to provide Turkey with the Patriot air defense system, but the Trump administration has refused because of Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile defense system.

Smoke billows over the town of Saraqib in the eastern part of the Idlib province in northwestern Syria, following bombardment by Syrian government forces, 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. (Photo by Omar HAJ KADOUR / AFP) (Photo by OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP via Getty Images) Smoke billows over the town of Saraqib in the eastern part of the Idlib province in northwestern Syria, following bombardment by Syrian government forces, 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. (Photo by Omar HAJ KADOUR / AFP) (Photo by OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Kay Bailey Hutchison, the U.S. ambassador to NATO, said during a briefing with reporters at the State Department on Thursday that she was unaware of the reports of large-scale Turkish casualties but called it a “big development.”

“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,” she said, referring to the Russian missile defense system that Turkey acquired.


Opinions | Erdogan has made terrible mistakes, but it’s time for the West to help Turkey in Syria .
An unfolding humanitarian crisis has become a full-blown conflict, with the terrible consequences of the West’s unwise decision to turn a blind eye.Turkey is in mourning. Last week, in a small village in the province of Idlib, in northern Syria, a Turkish military convoy was targeted by several Russian and Syrian regime planes in a coordinated attack that lasted hours. Ambulances were hit and medevac helicopters were prevented from evacuating Turkish casualties because Russia controls the air space. We lost more than 30 young men.

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