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Turkish Troops Killed In Attack In Northwest Syria


A Russia-backed offensive by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces in Idlib and the neighboring Aleppo Province has displaced nearly 700,000 people since December. (file photo)

Turkey says five of its soldiers have been killed and five others wounded as a result of shelling by Syrian government forces in Syria's northern province of Idlib.

The Defense Ministry said on February 10 that Turkish artillery immediately responded to the attack, destroying targets.

A war monitor reported that six Turkish soldiers were killed and seven were wounded when Syrian government forces shelled the Taftanaz air base. Four Syrian rebels were also killed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The clashes come as a Russian delegation arrived in the Turkish capital, Ankara, for talks over rising tensions in Idlib, the last rebel stronghold in Syria.

A Russia-backed offensive by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces in Idlib and the neighboring Aleppo Province has displaced nearly 700,000 people since December, according to the UN.

Russia and Ankara, which supports rebel groups in Syria, have agreed to work toward de-escalating the fighting in Idlib and creating a demilitarized zone, but the fighting has continued.

Eight Turkish military and civilian personnel and 13 Syrian soldiers were reported killed in an exchange of fire in Idlib last week.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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