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Pope Francis Prays for ‘Martyred’ in Syria as Syrian Army kills 5 Turkey soldier

Turkish defence ministry says army retaliated by
destroying ‘targets’ after attack on its forces in
northwest Syria.
Five Turkish soldiers have been killed in an attack
carried out by Syrian government forces in Syria’s
northwest, according to the Turkish defence
ministry.
A further five troops were wounded in the assault
on Monday in Idlib province, the last rebel-held
stronghold in the war-torn country.
The “regime’s intense artillery fire targeted our
elements sent as reinforcement to the region with
an aim to prevent clashes in Idlib, ensure our
border security and stop migration and human
tragedy”, the ministry said.
The Turkish military retaliated, it added,
“destroying targets”.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-
based war monitor, said the Turkish soldiers were
killed in shelling by the Syrian army at Taftanaz
airport, north of Saraqeb town.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and
Defence Minister Hulusi Akar held an emergency
meeting immediately the attack, Turkey’s NTV
television reported.
Russian delegation in Ankara
The assault came after a similar attack by the
government forces last week killed eight Turkish
military personnel, prompting another response by
Turkey’s army.
It also happened as a delegation from Russia, the
Syrian government’s main ally, is in Ankara for
talks on the situation in Idlib. Another round of
talks is expected to be held on Monday.
Ankara has sent major reinforcements to Idlib, as
it tries to stem rapid advances by Syrian
government forces backed by Russia.
The Syrian government offensive in Idlib has
driven more than half a million people from their
homes towards the closed Turkish border,
threatening a new humanitarian crisis.
Turkey, which already hosts 3.6 million Syrian
refugees, says it cannot absorb any more and has
demanded Damascus pull back in Idlib by the end
of the month or face Turkish action.

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