33 Turkish soldiers martyred after regime airstrike in Syria's Idlib - Hatay governor

Twenty-two have been killed in an air strike carried out by Assad regime in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, a Turkish official said on Thursday. "What a shame I have to say that the death toll has risen to 33," Rahmi Doğan, the governor of Hatay in Turkey which sits on the border with , said in televised remarks.

An airstrike carried out by the Assad regime forces in 's northwestern Idlib region at least 33 Turkish troops, the local governor in the southeastern province of Hatay said early on Friday.

"There are critically wounded [people, following the attack,] and they are being treated at the hospital," Rahmi Doğan, the governor of the southern Hatay province, told Anadolu Agency.

While the initial number of the martyrs was 9, it rose to 33 in the following hours.

Following the attack, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg over the phone, according to diplomatic sources, but no information on the topic of discussion was disclosed.

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.

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