Turkey’s defense minister said Tuesday as many as four observation posts and two military positions are now in Syrian government-controlled territory as Syrian forces continue their advance into the last rebel stronghold, an offensive that has escalated tensions between Syria and Turkey.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that Turkey would not vacate any of its 12 observation posts in Idlib and warned that Turkish soldiers were under orders to retaliate forcefully to Syrian attacks on the military posts.
“In the event of any action against them, they have been given instructions to retaliate even more powerfully,” Akar said. “In the event anything happens, there will be retaliation. We expect the regime to not take any action under any circumstances.”