Erdogan Threatens Syria After Troops Killed

ANKARA, Turkey (AFP) — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday vowed that Syria would pay a “heavy price” for any attack on Turkish troops, a day after five soldiers were killed in regime shelling in the Idlib region.

“The more they attack on our soldiers, they will pay a very, very heavy price,” Erdogan told a televised ceremony in Ankara.

Syrians flee Idlib province, where the Syrian army, backed by Russia, is attempting to exterminate the Syrian resistance. (AP photo/Ghaith Alsayed)

Turkey responded on Monday with artillery fire on Syrian positions and said it had “neutralized” 101 Syrian regime soldiers after the killing of five Turks in Idlib — the last major rebel bastion.

The exchange was the second such clash in a week, after eight Turks were killed by Syrian fire last week, which again prompted a military response from Turkey.

“The regime … got what it deserved in Idlib,” Erdogan said. “But it is not enough.”

He said he would reveal Wednesday the steps to be taken after the flareup in the northwestern province of Idlib.

Turkey in recent days has beefed up its observation posts in Idlib, which were set up under a 2018 deal with Russia — the key backer of President Bashar al-Assad.

The regime supported by Moscow has pursued an assault against Idlib, home to an estimated 3 million, for more than two months.

© Agence France-Presse

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