The Latest: Turkey says its army convoy targeted in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The Latest on developments in Syria as the government offensive intensifies on the country’s last rebel stronghold (all times local):
Turkey says airstrikes have targeted a Turkish military convoy in Syria, killing at least three civilians. There was no immediate word on any Turkish casualties in the attack.
The Defense Ministry says 12 other civilians were wounded in Monday’s strikes, which took place as the Turkish convoy was heading toward a Turkish observation post in the Syrian rebel-held stronghold of Idlib.
The ministry didn’t provide other details but “strongly condemned” the airstrikes, adding they were contrary to “existing agreements as well as our cooperation and dialogue with Russia.”
It called for “urgent measures” to prevent a repeat of the incident.
It wasn’t immediately clear who was behind the strikes, Syrian or Russian warplanes. Turkey has 12 observation posts in and on the edge of Idlib as part of an agreement reached with Russia.
Syrian activists say that airstrikes halted a Turkish military convoy carrying ammunition after it crossed into northern Syria earlier in the day, bound for a rebel-held stronghold.
They say the strikes hit near the highway where the convoy was moving on Monday. It wasn’t immediately clear whether it was Syrian government or Russian warplanes that struck near the convoy but the development marked a sharp escalation in tensions in the northwestern province of Idlib where Syrian troops have been on the offensive for weeks.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry slammed Turkey, saying the convoy consisted of armored vehicles loaded with ammunition and was heading to Khan Sheikhoun, a major rebel-held town in Idlib province, the country’s last rebel stronghold.
Turkey backs the rebels who have been in control of the region since 2012, while Russia backs Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, which has vowed to take back Idlib.