Two Turkish soldiers were killed and another five were wounded in Syrian government air strikes near the north western region of Idlib.

According to Turkish officials, more than 50 Syrian forces had been killed in retaliation.

The attacks come a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned of an imminent Turkish military offensive in Idlib, where Syrian forces, backed by Russian air power, have mounted an offensive to capture the region.

Earlier this month, 13 Turkish soldiers were killed in Syrian attacks, prompting Mr Erdogan to say that Turkey will strike Syrian forces "anywhere" in Syria if another soldier was hurt.

In a statement, the defence ministry said five tanks, two armoured personnel carriers, two armoured trucks and one howitzer were also destroyed in retaliation.

Shortly after Turkey's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said the soldiers, who were in Idlib to "establish peace and manage humanitarian aid operations," were killed by "an attack carried out by the (Syrian) regime".

Earlier, Russia's defence ministry accused Turkey of providing artillery support to militants fighting Syrian government forces and said militants briefly broke through government defences in Idlib, Russian media reported.

Russia's air force carried out strikes on the pro-Turkish militants who burst through Syrian government positions in two areas of Idlib province, allowing the Syrian army to repel the attacks, the ministry was cited as saying.

The Russian ministry's comments were reported by the RIA, Interfax and TASS news agencies.