It was the largest death toll for Turkey in a single day since it first intervened in Syria in 2016.
Turkey on Friday raised the death toll from a Syrian government airstrike on its forces in northwestern Syria the day before to 33 Turkish troops killed. It was the largest death toll for Turkey in a single day since it first intervened in Syria in 2016.
The deaths, which came in an attack late Thursday, were a serious escalation in the direct conflict between Turkish and Russia-backed Syrian forces that has been waged since early February. The earlier reported death toll was 29 troops.
Rhami Dogan, the governor of Turkey’s Hatay province bordering Syria’s Idlib region, said 32 wounded troops were being treated in hospitals. Turkey has had 54 soldiers killed in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province since the beginning of February.
Shortly after the attack, UN Secretary-General reiterated his call for an immediate cease-fire and expressed serious concern about the risk to civilians from escalating military actions,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
“Without urgent action, the risk of even greater escalation grows by the hour,” Dujarric said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held an emergency security meeting in Ankara late on Thursday, state-run Anadolu news agency reported. Meanwhile Turkish Foreign Minister Mevult Cavusoglu spoke to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg by telephone.
Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, who plays a senior role in foreign affairs, also spoke to US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.
The airstrike came after a Russian delegation spent two days in Ankara for talks with Turkish officials on the situation in Idlib, where a Syrian government offensive has sent hundreds of thousands of civilians fleeing towards the Turkish border.
The offensive has also engulfed many of the 12 military observation posts Turkey has in Idlib.
Click here to read more news from @khaleejtimes