UPDATE 2: The number of the killed Turkish personnel reportedly grew to 8. The Turkish Defense Ministry claimed that 54 ‘Assad regime’ targets were hit and 76 Syrian pro-government fighters were ‘neutralized’.
UPDATE: The Turkish Defense Ministry said that the number of killed Turkish troops grew to 5, while the number of injured troops grew to 13. A ‘civil service member’ was also killed.
If you use your troops as human shield to protect al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups, they may find themselves in a grave danger.
At least 4 Turkish soldiers were killed and 9 others injured (one of them critically) in the area of the Syrian Army’s advance on positions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in Greater Idlib. The incident allegedly took place in the countryside of Saraqib.
#BREAKING: #SyrianArmy pounds grad missiles at an outpost of #TurkishArmy in south of #Idlib in retaliation to #Turkey Army artillery attack at Syrian Army position at Shermagar, #Syria
Several Turkish Army troops killed in Tarnaba village!#NATOGetOutpic.twitter.com/rvZjpCWlXh
— Nardeep Pujji (@AWAKEALERT) February 3, 2020
The Turkish Defense Ministry said that the troops were killed in a shelling by “regime forces’. The Turkish side claimed that these troops were sent as reinforcements to the region to prevent conflicts in the Idlib de-escalation zone. During the past few days, Turkish forces indeedestablished several positions near Saraqib, the key stronghold of al-Qaeda-linked groups in western Idlib, and several other areas. Anakra tried to use its troops as human shields to stop the Syrian Army advance and paid the price.
According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, Turkish responded to the attacks and destroyed the targets.
“I wish Allah’s mercy on our four soldiers who were martyred in Idlib in the regime forces’ attack, condolences to their families and quick recovery to the wounded. This attack on the Idlib agreement was immediately retaliated,” Ibrahim Kalin, Turkey’s presidential spokesman, wrote on Twitter.
According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, between 30 and 35 Syrian troops were killed in Turkish attacks in response to the incident.