Ankara will not tolerate attacks on Turkish forces in Syria: Official
“Let me state clearly that it is never possible for us to tolerate the things that have happened in Idlib. Turkey held the terrorists who pointed guns at our heroic soldiers responsible, and now it will also hold those murderers responsible for martyring [Turkish soldiers in Idlib]," Fahrettin Altun told a meeting on Turkey and Syria, held in Istanbul.
The Turkish troops are in northwestern, Syria, just across the Turkish border, as part of an anti-terrorist and cease-fire mission. This week a group of Turkish soldiers was killed in an attack launched by the Assad regime.
Turkey was the first country to send its military forces to combat the terrorists of ISIL and the YPG/PKK in Syria, which "clearly shows its views of proxy wars in the region," Altun added.
He said Turkey aims not only to maintain its own national security but also to foil ill-intentioned designs on the region.
"If the process [of a refugee influx], which started just beyond our borders, cannot be stopped immediately, a new and larger influx of refugees will start, [eventually] reaching European capitals," he warned.
On Feb. 3, an Assad regime attack in Idlib, northwestern Syria, martyred seven Turkish soldiers and one civilian contractor working with the Turkish military and injured over a dozen people.
In retaliation, Turkey struck over 50 targets and killed 76 Syrian soldiers.