Geopolitical Risk: Turkey

The Moscow Times: Russia-Turkey Tensions in Syria, Explained
What happened?

— The Turkish defense ministry said two of its soldiers were killed and five were wounded in Syrian government airstrikes in Idlib, bringing Turkish military fatalities in the region to 15 this month. It said more than 50 Syrian soldiers were killed in retaliation.

— Russia for the first time publicly accused Turkey of supporting terrorist fighters in Syria. The Russian Defense Ministry said Turkey provided artillery support to the militants, wounding four Syrian soldiers.

— Russian warplanes attacked the militants who had burst through government positions in two areas of Idlib, allowing the Syrian army to repel them, the Russian ministry said. Turkey said Syrian planes had carried out the airstrikes.

— Nearly 1 million people — most of them women and children — have fled the fighting to seek sanctuary in the border area. Russia’s military said Friday there is no photographic proof of the refugees’ existence.
Al Jazeera: Fighting rages in northwest Syria; two Turkish troops killed
Turkey's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said the soldiers - who were in Idlib to "establish peace and manage humanitarian aid operations" - were killed by "an attack carried out by the [Syrian] regime".

Earlier this month, 13 Turkish soldiers were killed in Syrian attacks, prompting Erdogan to say Turkey will attack Syrian forces "anywhere" in Syria if another soldier was hurt.

In a statement, the defence ministry said five tanks, two armoured personnel carriers, two armoured trucks and one howitzer were also destroyed in retaliation.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said at least 11 pro-government fighters and 14 on the pro-Turkey side were killed along with the two Turkish troops.

Russia - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main ally - accused Turkey on Thursday of providing artillery support to rebels fighting Syrian government forces, and said fighters briefly broke through government defences in Idlib, Russian news agencies reported.

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