The Turkish Defense Ministry announced the neutralization of 55 Syrian soldiers in Idlib.
Similar statements were made on 10 and 11 February. At that time, it was reported that 101 and 51 Syrian soldiers had been “neutralized” respectively, and 101 Syrians had died the day before.
On 10 February, five Turkish soldiers were killed in Idlib province. The shelling of the observation post where the military was located was carried out by the Syrian army. This was at least the second fatality of Turkish security forces in Syria in February: on February 3, seven soldiers and one civilian specialist were killed in the shelling.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has since said that in the event of further attacks on Turkish forces, Ankara will launch full-scale strikes against Syrian troops wherever possible. He later vowed to shoot down all the planes in the skies over Idlib if they pose a threat to Turkish forces in the region
After the death of its soldiers, Turkey launched a massive attack on the Syrian army, attacking 115 targets. Three tanks and two mortar positions were destroyed and one helicopter was also shot down. At the same time, Erdogan blamed Russia and Syria for the deaths of civilians in Idlib. According to him, most of the attacks carried out by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russia in Idlib are directed against civilians, not terrorists. Erdogan also announced plans to “knock Assad’s forces out” of the de-escalation zone.