US 'stands by' Turkey after deadly attacks in Idlib
The U.S. State Department has extended condolences to Turkey following an airstrike that killed two Turkish soldiers and wounded five others in Idlib. "We send condolences to the Turkish government on the death of these soldiers. These attacks have now killed multiple Turkish personnel," a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said. "We stand by our NATO ally Turkey against these actions."
TheU.S. has expressed condolences to Turkey after twoTurkish soldiers were killed by an airstrike in northwestern Syria'sIdlib province on Feb. 20.
"We send condolences to the Turkish government on the death of these soldiers. These attacks have now killed multiple Turkish personnel," a U.S. State Department spokeswoman told Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity on Feb. 21. "We stand by our NATO ally Turkey against these actions."
"President [Donald] Trump, in his call with Turkish President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan on Saturday, expressed his concern over the violence in Idlib and reiterated our call for Russia to end its support for the Assad regime’s atrocities and for a political resolution to the Syrian conflict," the spokeswoman added.Airstrike kills Turkish soldiers, Ankara 'asks US for Patriot missiles'
Two Turkish soldiers were killed and five others wounded in an airstrike on Feb. 20 in Idlib.
The Turkish Defense Ministry has blamed the Syrian government for the airstrike; however, there are also reports that the Russian Su-24 Fencer combat jets might be responsible as Russia said it had, at the request of the Syrian government, sent Su-24 bombers to conduct airstrikes on rebel positions.
Thedeaths brought to 15 the number of Turkish soldiers killed in clashesthis month amid a crushing offensive by Syrian President BasharAssad’s forces aimed at recapturing opposition-held areas in Idlib.
Turkey and Russia back opposing sides in Syria's conflict, but have collaborated towards a political solution. Assad's onslaught in the northwest has upset this fragile cooperation, causing Ankara and Moscow to accuse each other of flouting de-escalation agreements in the region.
Turkish President Erdoğan emphasized the necessity to control Syrian government forces and to ease a humanitarian crisis in Idlib during a phone call with Russia's Vladimir Putin.Erdoğan tells Putin full implementation of Sochi deal necessary for Idlib
Syrian troops backed by Russian air power have been battling since December to eliminate the last rebel strongholds in the region in a war that has killed an estimated 400,000 Syrians, displaced millions more and left much of the country in ruins.
The latest offensive in the regions of Aleppo and Idlib has uprooted nearly 1 million people - most of them women and children - who have fled clashes to seek sanctuary further north, near the Turkish border.