February 3, 2020 / 8:12 AM / 18 days ago

Turkey sees Syrian forces as 'targets' around its Idlib posts: official

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, February 3, 2020. Turkish Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will view Syrian government forces as “targets” around Turkish observation posts in Syria’s northwest Idlib, a spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party said on Monday after Ankara said four of its soldiers were killed by Syrian shelling.

“The (Syrian) regime is from now on a target for us in the region after this attack. We expect Russia not to shield the regime or protect them because after the clear attack on our armed forces, regime forces around our posts are targets,” Omer Celik said on broadcaster CNN Turk.

He added the Syrian government was “acting like a terrorist organisation” and that talks would be held with Russian officials, who support the Syrian government, on the situation in the Idlib region.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay; Editing by Jonathan Spicer

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