Ankara(ANN)-The Turkish Ministry of Defense said, on Monday, that it had “neutralized” more than 100 soldiers in the Syrian army by striking dozens of locations for government forces in response to the killing of 5 of its soldiers in Idlib, in the north of the country.

The Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement that “115 targets of the Syrian forces have been struck so far and the neutralization of 101 elements of the regime’s army” according to a report by Sky News Arabia.

“there was an immediate response to the killing of our soldiers in Idlib within the framework of the rules of engagement and the legitimate right of self-defense.” said Turkish Ministry of Defense.

Ankara usually uses the word “neutralization” to refer to people killed in combat The ministry added: “It turned out that three tanks and two mortar sites were destroyed, while one helicopter was also wounded.”

Earlier on Monday, 5 Turkish soldiers were killed in an attack by the Syrian army on a control point in Idlib countryside, northern Syria, according to Turkish military sources.

Turkish officials announced that the Turkish army responded to the source of the attack on its forces in the town of Taftanaz, located in Idlib countryside, northern Syria.

Turkish officials had confirmed earlier that the Syrian army had targeted a Turkish observation post in Taftanaz in northern Syria, in the second such confrontation between Ankara and Damascus.according to a report by Sky News Arabia.

Syrian government troops have retaken parts of the strategic town of Saraqeb in the last rebel-held province, Idlib. according to a report by State media.

Syrian army units besieged the town for two days, exchanging artillery fire with Turkish forces who were supporting Syrian rebels.

Television footage shows troops and armoured vehicles in the devastated town, with corpses lying in the streets.

State media say army units have started clearing the town of mines. Another strategic town, Maarat al-Numan, fell to the government last week.

Since December, Syrian soldiers, supported by Iran-backed militia and Russian air strikes, have captured dozens of towns and villages in the country’s north-west, which is the last stronghold of the opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

More than half a million civilians, the vast majority women and children, have fled their homes since the government launched its offensive, with many having to flee multiple times over the last few years.