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Turkey reinforces troops in Syria, vows to hit 'radicals'

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 13, 2020 - Duration: 01:02s

Turkey reinforces troops in Syria, vows to hit 'radicals'

Turkey will use force against rebel groups violating a ceasefire in Syria's northwest Idlib region, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was quoted as saying on Thursday in an apparent response to Russian criticism.

Emer McCarthy reports.

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Turkey reinforces troops in Syria, vows to hit 'radicals'

Turkey's defense minister has been quoted saying that Turkey will use force against rebel groups violating a ceasefire in Syria's Idlib region, an apparent retort to criticism from Russia over failure to put a stop to the fighting.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that his military would strike Syrian government forces by air or ground anywhere in Syria if another Turkish soldier was hurt, after 13 troops were killed by Syrian forces in just over a week.

But on Thursday the defense minister, Hulusi Akar, said his country was sending additional reinforcements to its positions in Idlib to ensure a ceasefire in the region is maintained and to "control" the area, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Russia has accused Turkey of disregarding the agreements it made with Moscow on Syria and of aggravating the fragile situation in Idlib, including a 2018 agreement to establish a "de-escalation zone."

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