Turkish troops are backing rebel forces in northern Syria
At least 22 Turkish soldiers have been killed in an airstrike by Syrian “regime forces”, a Turkish provincial governor has said.Several more were badly hurt in the attack in Idlib in the north-west, Hatay governor Rahmi Dogan said. Other reports put the death toll higher.Turkey’s president held a top-level security meeting after the strike.Syrian forces supported by Russia are trying to retake Idlib from rebels who are backed by Turkish soldiers.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants the Syrian forces to pull back from positions where Turkey has set up military observation posts. He has threatened to attack Syrian government forces if they do not halt their advance.But Syria’s government and Russia have rejected his demand to pull back to ceasefire lines agreed in 2018. Russia has also accused Turkey of violating the 2018 ceasefire by backing rebels with artillery fire.
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Media captionWatch: Turkey’s defence ministry reiterates his country’s threat to SyriaThe UK-based monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said at least 34 Turkish troops had been killed in Thursday evening’s air strike.The wounded had been brought back to Turkey for treatment, Mr Dogan said.Meanwhile, Nato-member Turkey said Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had spoken to Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.The latest clashes came after the Turkey-backed rebels said they had retaken the strategic town of Saraqeb from Syrian government forc