Turkey-backed Rebels Kill 51 Syrian Troops in Idlib

Turkey reports counterattack against vital highway

One day after the Turkish Defense Ministry reported that their military had killed 101 Syrian soldiers, they have now reported a counterattack by Turkish-backed rebels, saying they’d killed an additional 51 troops.

This fighting was reported across the frontier of Idlib Province, adjacent to Aleppo Province. The Syrian military has been pushing against Islamist rebels in that area, and finally gained control over the vital Damascus to Aleppo highway.

Turkey is very interested in keeping Syria from restabilizing the region, and subsequently are charging their rebels with continuing to contest control over towns near the highway, just to ensure Syria cannot hold them.

This is almost certain to lead to more direct confrontations between Syria and Turkey, as Turkey will not accept Syrian control of northern Syria, and Assad is unlikely to let Turkey dictate terms in the country either.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.