Turkey will respond heavily if its observation posts in northwestern Syria’s Idlib province are targeted, said the nation’s president on Wednesday.

“Turkey will do more than mere retaliation if its observation posts in Idlib are targeted,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party deputies meeting in the capital Ankara.

Turkey launched Operation Spring Shield on Feb. 27 in the region after at least 34 Turkish soldiers were martyred in an Assad regime airstrike in Idlib, and after repeated violations of previous cease-fires.

Under a 2018 deal with Russia, the Turkish troops were in Idlib to protect

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