West News Wire: According to Syria’s SANA news network, Turkish airstrikes on Tuesday resulted in the deaths of three Syrian soldiers in a rural area close to Aleppo. According to the outlet, Syrian forces hit Turkish military sites in retaliation, causing an undetermined number of casualties.
According to SANA, which cited military sources, three soldiers were killed and six others were injured as a result of the attacks. These sources claim that in response to the aggression, Syria’s armed forces “targeted the occupation sites and destroyed them, causing human and material losses.”
The report continued that in retaliation, several sites run by militants opposed to the government who receive support from Turkey were also struck.
“With the intensification of the provocations practiced by the Turkish regime and the repeated attacks on different areas of Syrian territory, we affirm that any attack on any military point of our armed forces will be met by a direct and immediate response on all fronts,” the military source stated.
Ankara-sponsored militant groups occupy large swathes of territory in northern Syria, and Turkey regularly conducts offensives against Kurdish militias in this region. Turkey’s allies, the Syrian National Army, and its primary enemies, the Kurdish YPG, both oppose the government of Bashar Assad.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly promised to establish a 30-kilometer “safe zone” on the far side of its border with Syria. Earlier this month, he said that Turkish forces would soon launch an operation to “clear the last areas where the terrorist organization is nesting in Syria,” referring to land on the Syrian side of the border still held by the YPG.
Earlier on Tuesday, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said that it had “neutralized” 13 terrorists near the border in retaliation for a mortar attack on a border outpost, and that “operations continue in the region.” In a separate announcement on Twitter, the ministry said that its mechanized forces had killed five Kurdish fighters.