10:29 GMT08 March 2021
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    The situation in the province escalated further after Turkish President Erdogan claimed that the developments in Idlib were unfolding in Turkey's favour, despite the deaths of three Turkish soldiers.

    Some 33 Turkish soldiers have been killed as a result of an airstrike in the Syrian province of Idlib, Rahmi Dogan, the governor of the Hatay province, located close to the Turkish border with Syria, said.

    Initially, Dogan said that the airstrike killed nine, adding that the injured were transported to Turkey.

    After the incident, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan chaired an emergency security meeting on the current situation in Idlib, Anadolu Agency said.

    The northwestern province of Syria has been tense since early February, as local militants intensified attacks against Syrian government forces. The Russian military has revealed that Ankara backed the militants in the area with artillery fire.

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      "We have not received any official request from the government to pass a document that would give it the right to declare war against Syria if necessary", lawmaker Erdogan Toprak from the Republican People's Party stated.

      He also noted that the extraordinary session called for Saturday is intended to look into the circumstances surrounding the death of 33 Turkish soldiers in Idlib.

      "During this session, we plan to discuss the situation in Syria's Idlib and request clarification from the government regarding the attack which targeted Turkish troops and the forces that carried it out".

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      Situation on Turkish-Syrian Border After 33 Turkish Troops Killed in Idlib – Video

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      According to Turkish authorities, at least 33 Turkish servicemen were killed in a Syrian airstrike in Idlib on Thursday. The Russian Ministry of Defence later stated that the troops were among armed militants, who had been planning to launch a military offensive against the Syrian Army in the area.
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      Putin and Erdogan Hold Phone Talks on Situation in Idlib - Lavrov

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      Turkish Defence Minister Claims Army Neutralised 309 Syrian Targets

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      The Russian Centre for Syrian Reconciliation was constantly receiving updates from Turkey on the exact location of Turkish troops deployed to terrorists' combat areas.

      Despite this, when Syrian government troops responded to the attack, Turkish soldiers, who were among the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham* members, came under fire in the area around the settlement of Behun, the Russian Defence Ministry said, adding that, according to the information provided by Turkey, no units of the Turkish Army were present or could be present there.

      Upon learning that Turkish soldiers sustained injuries, Russia took the necessary steps to urge Syrian forces to cease fire. Turkish officers who were killed or injured in Idlib were later evacuated safely to their country.

      Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (also known as al-Nusra Front) is a terrorist group banned in Russia

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      "I hope that president Erdogan will see that we are the ally of their past and their future. And they need to drop the S-400", said Kay Bailey Hutchison, US Ambassador to NATO.

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      He also called on the international community, the Astana-model participants in the first place, to fulfill their responsibilities.

      "It is decided to respond to the illegitimate regime [of Syria] in the same way that it is aimed at our soldiers. With our air and ground fire support elements, all known targets of the regime have been fired upon. We call on the Astana Process to fulfill its responsibility, especially the parties, and the international community".

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    Live Updates: Russian Air Forces Did Not Carry Out Strikes in Area Where Turkish Servicemen Were Hit
    militants, military, Idlib, Turkey, Syria, airspace, airstrike
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