Turkish troops killed in air strike in Syria’s Idlib

Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two others injured in an air strike in Idlib province in northwestern Syria, the defense ministry said on Thursday.

Turkey, which supports several rebel groups in the region, immediately responded to the attack by hitting Syrian “regime targets”, the ministry said on Twitter.

The latest casualties have brought to 19 the number of Turkish security personnel killed in regime fire in Idlib this month.

Damascus, supported by Russian airstrikes, launched an offensive to retake Idlib’s last rebel stronghold.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes since December during the largest displacement since the start of the civil war in Syria almost nine years ago.

The attacks on Turkish forces have created tensions between the regime’s key ally, Russia and Turkey.

Ankara urged the regime to withdraw by the end of February from behind its military posts in Idlib.

Russian diplomats and military officials were scheduled to hold a second round of talks on Thursday with their Turkish counterparts.