Update: The official death toll of the Syrian airstrike on a Turkish convoy in Greater Idlib has risen to 33 soldiers.
22 Turkish service members were killed in a Syrian airstrike on the Greater Idlib region, Valisi Dogan, governor of the southern Turkish province of Hatay, announced late on February 27.
Dogan said that many other service members were injured in the Syrian airstrikes, claiming that some are in a critical condition.
Syrian opposition sources said that the deadly airstrike targeted a convoy of Turkish forces near the towns of al-Bara and Baluon. Activists released videos allegedly showing Turkish soldiers taking shelters during the airstrike as well as the aftermath of the attack. These videos have not been verified yet.
Some Turkish and Syrian sources contradicted the official Turkish announcement, claiming that the death toll from the airstrike was 37, with some even putting the number of casualties over 50. These sources went on to claim that the deadly airstrike was carried out by the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS).
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan headed a national security meeting after the attack, while Defense Minister Hulusi Akar called his U.S. counterpart to discuss the matter.
With the death of 22 new soldiers, the number of Turkish casualties killed in Greater Idlib has grown to 41. Earlier today, three casualties were acknowledged by President Erdogan.
Syrian militants and several helicopters of the Turkish Air Force (TAF) are reportedly carrying out a search operation in the area of airstrike now. The total number of casualties will very likely rise in the upcoming few hours.