By Ibrahim Erikan and Lale Koklu Karagoz
ANKARA (AA) - A total of nine Turkish soldiers were martyred in an airstrike by the Bashar al-Assad regime in Idlib, northwestern Syria, a Turkish official said late Thursday.
“There are critically wounded [people, following the attack,] and they are being treated at the hospital," Rahmi Dogan, the governor of the Turkish southern Hatay province, told Anadolu Agency.
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
But more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone since then as the cease-fire continues to be violated.
The de-escalation zone is currently home to 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces throughout the war-torn country.
More than 1.7 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks.
Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making it the world’s top refugee-hosting country.