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Government soldiers, Turkish forces clash in Syria: Group

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A file photo of Turkish troops moving toward Syria

A monitoring group says Syrian government soldiers and Turkish forces have clashed near Syria’s border with Turkey, in a first such confrontation since Turkish forces entered Syrian territory without permission from Damascus.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday that clashes had erupted between the Syrian soldiers and their allies on the one side and the troops enlisted with Operation Euphrates Shield — the code name for Turkey’s military operation in Syria — on the other in the northwest of the city of al-Bab in Aleppo Province.

The Syrian military has started a determined push to liberate the city from the Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh and just yesterday flushed the terrorists out of two villages on the city’s southwestern edge.

Mohammad Abdullah, a political figure with Turkey-backed militant group known as the Free Syrian Army, said the recent clashes took place after the Turkish troops entered the city. He said the exchange of fire with Syrian soldiers had injured five Turkish forces and destroyed two of their armored vehicles.

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Syrian sources, meanwhile, said the army had surrounded town of the Tadif, where Daesh has one of its biggest concentrations to the south of al-Bab.

The situation is tense in the province, whose capital city of the same name was liberated from the control of Takfiri terrorists by the Syrian military last December.

On Thursday, three Turkish forces were mistakenly slain during airstrikes by Russian fighter planes.

Turkey began a major military intervention in Syria in August last year, sending tanks and warplanes across the border in a purported mission to keep away Daesh as well as Kurdish armed groups.

Damascus has denounced the Turkish incursion as a breach of its sovereignty.

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