26 Syrian soldiers were killed by raids of Turkish drones in Idlib and Aleppo countryside

26 members of the Syrian regime forces were killed by raids carried out by Turkish planes in northwestern Syria on Saturday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The observatory said that the drones targeted the forces of the regime forces in Idlib and Aleppo countryside, in a process that comes hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to respond to the killing of more than 30 of his soldiers in Syria on Thursday.

This comes at a time when the Russians and the Turks expressed their hope to "reduce the escalation" in Syria during meetings between senior officials of the two countries in recent days, as the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Saturday.

"The focus was on both sides to reduce escalation on the ground while continuing to combat terrorists who are also recognized by the United Nations Security Council at the United Nations," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The officials of the two countries also expressed their determination to "protect civilians inside and outside the de-escalation zone (Idlib governorate in northwestern Syria) and to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to all who need it."

Moscow reported that the Kremlin's envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Verchinin and representatives of the Russian Ministry of Defense held meetings Wednesday and Thursday with a Turkish delegation.

The last days witnessed an unprecedented escalation between Damascus and Ankara after the killing of at least 34 Turkish soldiers during a week in bombing by the Syrian army. The Idlib governorate is also witnessing a humanitarian crisis, with some 700,000 people fleeing the fighting.

At the heart of this tension is Idlib governorate, northwestern Syria, where the Syrian army, supported by the Russian Air Force, has launched a campaign for months to regain control of this province, despite the agreement to reduce the escalation concluded between Russia and Turkey in it.

Idlib is subject to the requirements of an agreement to "reduce escalation" previously reached between Ankara and Moscow, but it has turned into a theoretical agreement following the recent developments.

Turkey announced on Saturday that it had destroyed a "chemical weapons facility" belonging to the Syrian regime in the northeast of the country, in response to air strikes that killed more than 34 Turkish soldiers on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed to Agence France-Presse that Ankara bombed the Kweres Military Airport in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, as there were no chemical weapons, according to the observatory.


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