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Turkey won't stop Syrian refugees reaching Europe

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 28, 2020 - Duration: 01:30s

Turkey won't stop Syrian refugees reaching Europe

Dozens of Turkish soldiers died after an air strike by Syrian government forces in Idlib region on Friday (February 28), in an escalation of conflict that could have serious consequences for Europe.

Libby Hogan reports.

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Turkey won't stop Syrian refugees reaching Europe

Dozens of Turkish soldiers died after an air strike by Syrian government forces in Idlib region on Friday.

This latest deadly escalation could have serious consequences for Europe.

In the wake of the attack, Turkey has threatened to stand down border guards and open the way for refugees trying to reach Europe.

The governor of Turkey's southern Hatay province announced news of the troops' deaths.

(SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) GOVERNOR OF HATAY, RAHMI DOGAN, SAYING: "As a result of the air strikes 33 soldiers are martyred.

None of our wounded soldiers who are being treated in hospital are in critical condition." Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has warned that Turkey would launch a full-scale offensive to repel Syrian forces unless they pulled back.

Late Thursday (February 27) the Turkish army released drone footage of what it said were strikes on Syrian government targets in Idlib.

Syrian forces backed by Russia are trying to retake Idlib from Turkish backed rebels.

The fighting has intensified in Syria's northwestern province with nearly a million civilians displaced in Idlib near the Turkish border since December.

It marks the worst humanitarian crisis of the country's nine year war.

The threat to open the way for refugees to Europe would reverse a pledge Turkey made to the European Union in 2016.

It could also quickly draw Western powers into the standoff over Idlib.

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