NEWS / MIDDLE EAST
Turkey: Idlib attack responded with 'resounding blow'
Turkey's president has said they have dealt a resounding blow to the Bashar al-Assad regime over Monday's attack in Syria's Idlib which martyred five Turkish troops.
Speaking on Tuesday at an event in the capital Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said those who attacked Turkish soldiers "will pay a very heavy price".
"We have dealt a resounding blow to the Syrian [regime]. They have been seriously punished, especially in Idlib, but this is not enough, there is more to come."
Since the beginning of this month, incessant attacks by the Assad regime forces in Idlib have left 12 Turkish soldiers martyred and more than a dozen injured.
In retaliation, Turkey last week struck more than 50 regime targets and killed 76 Syrian soldiers.
The Turkish troops are in Idlib as part of an anti-terror and peace mission.
Idlib has been a stronghold of opposition and anti-government armed groups since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
But since then, more than 1,800 civilians there have been killed in attacks by regime and Russian forces, flouting both the 2018 ceasefire and a new one that came into effect on Jan. 12.
More than 1.5 million Syrians have moved toward the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the past year.
Turkey remains the country with the most refugees in the world, hosting more than 3.7 million migrants since the start of the Syrian civil war.