Turkey Says They Killed 101 Syrian Troops in Retaliation

Five Turkish soldiers slain in shelling of Afrin

Early Monday morning, five Turkish soldiers were reported killed in fighting with the Syrian military in the Syrian town of Taftanaz. The town is in rebel-dominated Idlib Province, which Syria is looking to reclaim.

As in previous confrontations, Turkey responded with massive military retaliation against Syria. Turkey reported hitting 115 targets in Syria, all government sites. The Turkish Defense Ministry added that 101 Syrian soldiers were killed.

In addition to killing the soldiers, Turkey hit a Syrian government helicopter, destroyed three tanks and two artillery pieces. They also reportedly hit some air defenses in the area.

Turkey has been eager to engage in massive military engagements to keep northern Syria from being totally reclaimed by the Syrian government, even if that means fighting to keep al-Qaeda under control of some territory.

This comes after weekend deployments by Turkey of more forces into Idlib Province, specifically because they envisioned a new military confrontation. They clearly weren’t waiting, and the confrontation was almost immediate, reflective of Turkey putting its troops into areas that are being contested.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.