Turkey says has ‘neutralised’ 101 Syrian troops

Turkey has said that it had neutralized 101 Syrian regime soldiers following a bombardment that killed five Turkish soldiers in Syria’s Idlib region yesterday. Idlib, which is in northwestern Syria, is the last major rebel bastion. The Turkish Defence Ministry claimed that its troops were pushing on with bombardments on Syrian positions in the area on Monday evening.

Under a deal with Russia, Turkey has 12 observation posts in Idlib as a way to avert an offensive by Syrian Government forces trying to retake it from rebels. However, Syrian troops have been advancing despite Ankara’s warnings.

A statement from Turkish Defence Ministry said that besides 101 regime troops, three tanks and two cannons were also destroyed and a helicopter was hit. The exchange was the second in eight days and took place in the area of Taftanaz, which was recently reinforced by Turkey.

The clashes are further straining relations between Damascus and Ankara. It has also increased tension between Russia and Turkey.