U.S. envoy Jeffrey, U.S. ambassador to U.N. to visit Turkey

U.S. Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft are to arrive in Turkey late on Monday for talks on the increased violence in neighbouring Syria, the Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

The visit comes ahead of a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday in a bid to defuse the conflict in Syria's last rebel-held province of Idlib, where Turkish-backed rebels are fighting Russian-backed Syrian government forces.

Syrian government attacks killed 36 Turkish soldiers in their offensive on Idlib last week and Turkish forces have hit back with a series of strikes they say have killed hundreds of Syrian soldiers.

Craft condemned the Syrian government attacks, said Turkey had the full support of the United States to respond in self-defence, and called on Russia to immediately ground its warplanes.