Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron discussed the Idlib and the imminent refugee crisis over the phone according to the Turkish presidential office said.
The tensions in Syria’s Idlib region escalated with the killings of 36 Turkish soldiers. In response, Turkey’s Air Force conducted strikes on the Syrian troops, later specifying that more than 200 targets had been hit.
On February 27, Ankara launched a new incursion in Syria dubbed Operation Spring Shield targeting the Syrian government forces and facilities. Turkey said it had destroyed several air defence systems, more than 100 tanks and killed 2,212 members of the Syrian forces, including three top generals in drone strikes since Feb 27.
At least one Turkish drone was shot down by Syrian forces today; Syria claimed that it shot down three. in response. Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said at least 21 “Iranian-backed terrorists” were also “neutralized” in Idlib, in a reported reference to Afghan, Pakistani and other Iranian-backed Shiite militias that have been fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Idlib.
Earlier, Turkey had carried out three offensives into Syria codenamed Operation Euphrates Shield, Operation Olive Branch and Operation Peace Spring. As a result, a buffer security zone was set up between the border towns of Aazaz and Jarabulus, the Syrian town of Afrin was captured, and other areas to the east of the Euphrates River got under control.