Defense Minister Hulusi Akar went to Turkey’s Syrian border province of Hatay on Friday to lead the operation against the Bashar Assad forces from a strategic point as well as to pay a visit to the Turkish soldiers who were injured in the regime attack.
Akar, alongside Commander of the Turkish Land Forces Gen. Ümit Dündar and Commander of the Turkish Air Forces Gen. Hasan Küçükakyüz, is managing the Turkish military operation in Syria by organizing both the air and land forces and their deployment to the region.
Traveling to the border province after a six-hour security summit in Ankara following a Syrian regime attack that killed 33 Turkish soldiers, Akar received information regarding the operation from the 2nd Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sinan Yayla.
Akar visited the soldiers who were injured during the regime attack at the Hatay State Hospital.
Some 33 Turkish soldiers were killed and 32 more were injured in a Russian-backed Assad regime airstrike in northwestern Syria's Idlib Thursday, confirmed Hatay Gov. Rahmi Doğan.
Doğan initially confirmed the death toll as nine but later increased the number to 22, 29 and eventually, 33. Another 32 wounded Turkish soldiers are in stable condition and are being treated in hospitals, he added.
With the attack, the growing alarm in Ankara over the recent escalation of tensions reached a tipping point.