Fighting between Syrian and Turkish regular forces dramatically escalated on 27 February when at least 33 Turkish soldiers were reported killed in an airstrike in Idlib province, raising the number of Turkish fatalities in Syria in February to over 50.
Turkish sources put the death toll at 33, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that 34 Turks were killed in an incident that took place between Balioun and Al-Barah in southern Idlib, where Syrian government troops have been making rapid advances since 23 February.
Turkey blamed the Syrian military for the attack, with defence minister Hulusi Akar saying the retaliation involved Turkish aircraft and artillery hitting over 200 targets and killing over 300 Syrian soldiers.
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