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Four Turkish officers killed in Aleppo clashes: Report

Militants chat during a patrol in the Sheikh Said district of the Syrian northern city of Aleppo on February 8, 2013.

Militants chat during a patrol in the Sheikh Said district of the Syrian northern city of Aleppo on February 8, 2013.

At least four Turkish officers have been killed in clashes between Syrian government troops and foreign-backed militants in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo.

The Syrian website Syria Now reports that the corpses of the Turkish officers were identified among the militants killed in the Friday fighting in the al-Bab district of the flashpoint city.

Reports say the Syrian government troops killed dozens of militants and inflicted heavy losses on them in two days of fighting for the control of the international airport and the nearby Nairab airfield in Aleppo.

The airport and the military airfield both remain under government control.

Damascus has repeatedly accused Ankara of supporting the insurgents who are fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

On Friday, the Syrian government sent a letter to the UN, blasting Turkey’s “destructive” role in the conflict that has ravaged the country for the past 23 months.

In the letter, the Syrian Foreign Ministry accused Ankara of publicly supporting and financing terrorists fighting against the Syrian government and allowing its soil to be used for training and housing anti-Damascus terrorist groups.

Analysts believe the move by Turkey is part of an anti-Syria plot hatched by the US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to fuel the unrest in the country by increasing the number of militants fighting against the government.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.

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