At least four Turkish soldiers were killed and nine others wounded in intensive shelling today by Syrian government forces in northwestern Syria. Turkey’s National Defense Ministry said six Syrian troops were also killed in the shelling.
The exchange comes amid a Syrian government offensive into the last rebel-held territory, located in Idlib and parts of the nearby Aleppo region. Turkish troops are deployed in some of those areas to monitor an earlier cease-fire that has since collapsed.
Relations between Turkey and Syria have deteriorated sharply since Syria’s civil war began in 2011. Idlib province is currently dominated by al-Qaida-linked terrorists.
The province of Idlib is home to some 3 million people, many of them displaced from other parts of Syria in earlier bouts of violence. The United Nations has estimated that nearly four lakh Syrians have been displaced there over the past two months.