Two Turkish soldiers have been killed and three others injured in Idlib Province in northwest Syria.

The Defense Ministry said a vehicle with Turkish soldiers was attacked as it returned after a search mission. It did not identify the assailants.

Turkey launched its military intervention in August 2016, alongside anti-Assad factions — initially to remove the Islamic State and then to take over much of the Kurdish canton of Afrin.

Part of Idlib Province, as well as all of neighboring northern Hama, was reoccupied by Russian and Assad regime forces during an offensive from April 2019 to March 2020. A ceasefire was then declared by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

However, shelling by pro-Assad forces has persisted and escalated in recent months. Turkish officials also accuse the Kurdish militia YPG of attacks.