ISTANBUL - Tensions between Turkey and Russia escalated Thursday with the killing of the two Turkish soldiers in a Syrian airstrike. Moscow, which backs the Damascus government, accused Ankara of supporting terrorists in Syria.
In a statement, the Turkish Defense Ministry said the airstrike in Syria's Idlib province also injured five people. The report didn't identify who was responsible for the attack, but it said immediate retaliation was carried out against "more than 50 [Syrian] regime targets," including tanks and artillery.
Turkish presidential communications director Fahrettin Altun pointed directly at Damascus. "Turkish soldiers in Idlib, there to establish peace and manage humanitarian aid operations," were killed by "an attack carried out by the [Syrian] regime," tweeted Altun.
Damascus so far has not commented. But the Russian Defense Ministry announced that its air force had carried out airstrikes against Turkish-backed rebels in Idlib, who broke through the lines of Damascus forces.
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