Turkey: Idlib-based Troops Targeted from Government-held Territory
Turkey’s Defense Ministry says a Turkish soldier was killed and several others wounded on Thursday when their observation post came under artillery and mortar fire deliberately launched from territory held by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Turkish position is in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province, where troops loyal to Assad are seeking to dislodge anti-government rebels who were able to dig in while the regime was busy in the effort to dislodge Islamic State from its strongholds in eastern Syria. Ankara sent troops into northern Syria close to three years ago after fighting in the civil war there threatened to spill over into Turkey. It also wanted to keep an eye on Kurdish-Syrian rebels it believes are closely allied with the PKK, an outlawed resistance group of Turkish Kurds who are seeking autonomy. The Defense Ministry in Turkey added that its troops in Idlib fired back.
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