Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Turkey's military forces have retaliated against the Syrian government after they say President Bashar al-Assad's troops killed several Turkish soldiers and civilians in war-scarred Idlib province, officials said Monday.
Ankara said seven other Turkish troops and civilians were injured by ongoing government bombing in the northwest territory, which has been a stronghold for rebels. It wasn't clear exactly how many Turkish soldiers and civilians died in the bombings.
"Those who test Turkey's determination with such vile attacks will understand their mistake," Erdogan said. "It is not possible for us to remain silent when our soldiers are being martyred."
Russia, an ally to Assad's government, said the Turkish troops were initially targeted due to a "lack of information."
Syria Civil Defense, known informally as the "White Helmets," blamed Russian airstrikes for the attacks against Turkish troops.
"Russian warplanes committed horrific and brutal massacres since morning until now in Idlib and Aleppo," the White Helmets tweeted. "A whole family of nine people was killed while trying to escape the shelling and airstrikes."
State media said Monday the Syrian Arab Army units "liberated" the village of Taranaba and cut off a supply line of "terrorists" between Saraqeb and Ariha.
Syrian officials also debated numbers of the conflict, saying its forces were chasing opposition fighters when four Turkish troops were killed. Damascus, however, said no Syrian troops died in the Turkish strikes.