By Esin Isik
ANKARA (AA) - Fifty-six Assad regime elements were neutralized in Idlib, northwestern Syria, Turkey's National Defense Ministry said Friday.
Turkey destroyed eight regime's tanks, four armored vehicles, five howitzers and two rocket launchers, the ministry said on Twitter.
A Turkish soldier was martyred and two were wounded in Idlib, the ministry added.
Late Thursday, at least 33 Turkish soldiers were martyred and dozens injured in an airstrike by Assad regime forces in the Idlib de-escalation zone, just across Turkey’s southern border.
Turkish soldiers are working to protect local civilians under a September 2018 deal with Russia where acts of aggression are prohibited in the region.
But more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by Assad and Russian forces in the zone since, as the cease-fire continues to be violated.
The attack Thursday was one of a series since January on Turkish troops, with Turkish officials keeping a pledge that such assaults would not go unanswered.
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.