Turkey Kills Over 50 Syrian Troops

Russian Warplanes Intervene to Halt Offensive Against Syrian Forces

Fighting in Syria’s Idlib Province escalated substantially on Thursday, with Turkish forces attacking the Syrian military, and claiming to have killed over 50 soldiers, and Russia ultimately sending in warplanes to stop the fight, warning Turkey away from continued action.

Turkish officials said Syria had killed two Turkish soldiers who were in Idlib to “establish peace” and that their attack was in retaliation. President Erdogan has threatened strikes anywhere in Turkey over injuries to soldiers.

Turkish-backed rebels were involved in the attacks, and supported by Turkish artillery strikes. Syria ultimately requested Russian help, and a Russian Su-24 launched some strikes against attacking forces. Russia also contacted Turkey and told them to stop shelling.

While this particular flare-up is over, fighting looks to just be getting started. Russia called the situation a “worst case scenario,” and has demanded that Turkey stop backing terrorist groups in Idlib. Turkey has vowed they will not leave Idlib to Syria, and reiterated demands that Syria unconditionally cede the province to the mostly al-Qaeda-led rebels therein.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.