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US supports Turkey's right to respond to Syria regime attack on its forces

Turkish Armed Forces' tanks are being dispatched from Hatay to support the units at the Syrian's Idlib border, in Hatay, Turkey on January 11, 2019 [Erdal Türkoğlu / Anadolu Agency]
Tanks belonging to the Turkish Armed Forces are being sent to Syria's border on 11 January 2019 [Erdal Türkoğlu/Anadolu Agency]

The United States yesterday condemned the Syrian regime's mortar attack against Turkish forces in Idlib province, Anadolu reported.

"We stand by our NATO ally Turkey against these actions, send condolences to the Turkish government on the deaths of their people and fully support Turkey's justified self-defence actions in response," Anadolu quoted an unnamed State Department spokeswoman saying.

"We are consulting with the Turkish government on this matter," she added.

"The destabilising actions of Russia, the Iranian regime, Hezbollah and the Assad regime are hindering the establishment of a nationwide ceasefire in Syria as called for in UNSCR 2254 and the safe return of hundreds of thousands of displaced persons in northern Syria to their homes," she said.

READ: Turkey, Russia can tackle Syria escalation 'without anger'

Earlier on Monday, seven Turkish soldiers and a civilian contractor were killed by intense artillery shelling by the Syrian regime forces on a control point in Idlib countryside.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkish forces retaliated by bombing 54 targets and killing 76 Syrian soldiers.

The Syrian regime forces continue to attack sites in Idlib killing more than 1,800 civilians and displacing more than 1.3 million others.

Britain has also condemned the Syrian regime forces' targeting of Turkish soldiers in Idlib, stressing that it was unacceptable.

"I condemn the Assad regime's attacks in Idlib today and the unacceptable loss of life of Syrian civilians and Turkish soldiers," UK Foreign Office Minister Andrew Murrison said on Twitter.

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Asia & AmericasEurope & RussiaInternational OrganisationsMiddle EastNATONewsSyriaTurkeyUKUS
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