Turkey says 2 more soldiers killed in Syrian regime attack in Idlib: report

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Turkish soldiers in a military operation

Turkey said that two more of its soldiers were killed Wednesday in a Syrian government attack in northwestern Syria, as steady clashes between the two national armies continued to rack up casualties, The Associated Press reported.

Turkey has sent thousands of troops into the area to support Syrian insurgents holed up there but hasn’t been able to stop the Russian-backed Syrian government offensive to retake Idlib province.

A Syrian opposition war monitor said nine Syrian soldiers were also killed in Turkish drone attacks in the northwestern area.

The Turkish Defense Ministry’s statement said the latest Syrian attack on its troops also wounded six soldiers. It did not provide further details.

The assault came as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is scheduled to depart for Moscow where he says he aims to broker a cease-fire in Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Turkey and Russia are the two main power brokers in Syria, and each of them supports rival sides in the nine-year conflict.

“We expect to reach a shared view of the cause of the current crisis, its consequences and agree on a set of measures to overcome it,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said about the upcoming meeting with the Turkish leader.

Russian officials have said they hold Turkey responsible for the collapse of a cease-fire agreement reached in Sochi, Russia, in 2018. They say Ankara has failed to honor the deal and rein in militants who continued attacking Syrian and Russian targets.

Clashes between Turkish and Syrian forces in northwestern Syria have killed more than 50 Turkish troops in the past month, including 36 soldiers killed Thursday in a single airstrike.

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