According to Anatolia News Agency, quoting a statement of Turkish presidency, Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Russia next Thursday to discuss with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin the situation in Syria and Libya. The statement said that Erdogan will travel to Russia on March 5 for a one-day visit, after the situation between Ankara and Moscow deteriorated in last weeks. Fighting are taking place in north western Syria between Turkish and the Syrian forces of the Government of Bashar al-Assad backed by Moscow.
At least 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in Syria’s Idlib province on Thursday in a raid by Russian-backed Syrian regime forces, Turkish officials said, raising the spectre of full-blown conflict. Thirty-five soldiers were injured in the attack and have been evacuated to hospitals in Turkey. The attack comes days before a Turkish deadline on Syrian government troops to withdraw from areas recaptured in recent months from rebels in northwest Syria. Turkey, which backs some Syrian anti-government fighters, condemned the Syrian attack as a “nefarious attack against heroic soldiers in Idlib who were there to ensure our national security.” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said the attack happened “despite coordination with the officials of the Russian Federation who were on the ground when this attack happened.” Akar also said ambulances were hit during the strikes.
Last week the UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salamè, said the situation in Syria and in Libya are directly connected. From the beginning of 2020 Erdogan has sent thousands of fighters from the Syrian city of Idlib into Tripoli war. Erdogan also confirmed on Thursday that a number of Turkish forces were killed in South of the Libyan capital from the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by the Feld Marshall Khalifa Haftar.
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