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33 Turkish soldiers killed in Syria

Agence France-Presse

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Turkey-backed Syrian fighters load their weapons at a position on outskits of the villages of Afis and Salihiyah situated near the regime-controlled town of Saraqib, in the eastern part of the Idlib province in northwestern Syria. Omar HAJ KADOUR/Agence France-Presse

ANKARA, Turkey (AFP) — At least 33 Turkish soldiers were killed as violence escalates in Syria’s Idlib province after an air strike blamed on Damascus, with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg condemning “indiscriminate” attacks by the Assad regime and Russia.

Dozens more soldiers were injured and taken to Turkey for treatment, Rahmi Dogan, governor of Turkish Hatay — bordering Syria — said Friday.

The heavy losses in northwestern Idlib come after weeks of growing tensions between rebel supporter Ankara and Damascus ally Moscow.

Stoltenberg “urged all parties to de-escalate this dangerous situation and avoid further worsening of the horrendous humanitarian situation in the region,” his spokesman said Friday.

In a phone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, the NATO secretary general “condemned the continued indiscriminate air strikes by the Syrian regime and its backer Russia in Idlib province,” according to the spokesman.

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