’30-35 Syrian troops dead in Turkish retaliatory attack’

’30-35 Syrian troops dead in Turkish retaliatory attack’

Ankara, Feb 3 (IANS) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said here on Monday that 30 to 35 Syrian troops were killed in a retaliatory attack by Turkey in Idlib province.

According to Turkey’s Defence Ministry, the retaliation came after four Turkish soldiers were killed and nine others wounded by Syrian shelling in Idlib, reports Xinhua news agency.

Speaking to reporters before departing for a visit to Ukraine, Erdogan said Turkish artillery hit some 46 targets, Anadolu News Agency reported.

“We have responded in kind to these attacks and will continue to do so, whether it is with our artillery or mortars. We are determined to continue our operations for the security of our country, people and our brothers in Idlib,” he added.

He further said that Turkish warplanes were also involved and said that between 30 and 35 Syrian troops were killed.

In a statement, the Turkish Armed Forces said that one of the injured soldiers was in critical condition.

The development comes after Erdogan on January 31 had said that Turkey might launch a military operation there unless the fighting was halted.

Turkey, which has a 911-km border with Syria along its southern frontier, has 12 military observation posts in the region, under a deal with Russia and Iran in 2017.

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