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Erdogan warns Syrian regime against further attacks against Turkish soldiers

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Turkish backed fighter prepare to go to the frontline in the Syrian province of Idlib, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020.
Turkish backed fighter prepare to go to the frontline in the Syrian province of Idlib, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed   -   Ghaith Alsayed
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Turkey will hit back against regime forces anywhere in Syria if more Turkish soldiers come under attack.

Those are the words of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan - who vowed to push the Russian-backed Syrian military out of Idlib by the end of the month. The northwestern province is protected by the Sochi de-escalation pact but more than a dozen Turkish soldiers have been killed there in recent weeks.

"The [Syrian] regime and the Russian forces as their partners, and the Iran-backed militia, attack always civilians, massacre people, and shed blood," Erdoğan said during a speech in Ankara on Wednesday.

Sochi agreement

The Kremlin - which brokered the 2018 Sochi deal - hit back at Ankara, accusing it of disregarding its commitment under the agreement to stabilise the region.

Russia's Ministry of Defence said Turkey has failed to neutralise militant groups operating in the province and was instead aggravating the situation through the presence of its troops and military weapons.

Euronews' Moscow correspondent Galina Poloskaya said Russian analysts say the Ankara and Moscow are on the verge of a new Cold War over the crisis in Idlib, as the conflict in Syria continues to raise tensions between the two sides.

_To listen to Galina Polonskaya's full interview, click on the media player above. _