The Turkish military responded with artillery fire against Syrian government targets in Syria after an air strike killed at least 33 Turkish soldiers in northwest Idlib province, officials said on Friday. Turkish officials.
On Thursday (New York time, GMT-4), the United Nations called for urgent action in northwestern Syria, warning that “the risk of further escalation is increasing by the hour.”
“The Secretary-General reiterates his call for an immediate cease-fire and expresses his particular concern about the risk to civilians of the intensification of military actions,” spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement.
“Without urgent action, the risk of an even greater escalation increases from hour to hour.”
“All known” targets
The UN statement came as Turkey announced that “all known targets” of the Syrian government were under fire from Turkish air and ground support units, according to the Anadolu news agency, quoting the Turkish director of communications Fahrettin Altun Friday. Turkey has decided to “respond in” to the attack on the Syrian government, “added Altun.
The announcement was made immediately after an air strike by Syrian regime forces against the Turkish army in Idlib, as reported by Anadolu.
Turkish authorities have killed 33 people.
After the attack, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held an extraordinary meeting on the situation in Idlibat at his presidential complex in Ankara, which was attended by ministers and military officials.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke by telephone to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, according to the Anadolu news agency.
Stoltenberg condemned the strikes, a spokesman said, calling them “blind”.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a local observer, claimed more lives, claiming that 34 Turkish soldiers had been killed.
Deaths represent the highest number of deaths suffered by Turkish forces in a single day since Ankara began sending thousands of soldiers to Idlib in recent weeks in an effort to stop the advance of Syrian forces and their Russian allies .
Russia and Turkey agreed in 2018 to create a demilitarized zone in Idlib as part of an agreement that has since failed. The fighting in the northwestern province of Syria has sent hundreds of thousands of displaced people to the Turkish border.
Speaking in Washington, the US ambassador to NATO said that Turkey should learn from the clashes in Syria that are its true friends and abandon its purchase from Russia of an important missile defense system.
Turks should see “who is their reliable partner and who is not,” Kay Bailey Hutchison told reporters.
“They see what Russia is, they see what they are doing now, and if they attack the Turkish troops, that should prevail over everything that happens between Turkey and Russia,” he said. -she adds.
US Senator Lindsey Graham on Thursday called for the creation of a no-fly zone over Idlib in Syria and called on President Donald Trump to help stop the massacre of civilians by Syrian government forces backed by Russia and Iran.
“The world is sitting on its hands watching the destruction of Idlib by Assad, Iran and the Russians,” Graham, a Republican and Trump ally, said in a statement. “I am convinced that the world, led by the United States, will push Iran, Russia and Assad away from them, paving the way for political negotiations to end this war in Syria.”
The forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have sought in recent months to retake the last large rebel-held region in northwestern Syria after nine years of war that displaced millions and killed hundreds of thousands.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)