Bomb attack hits Turkey-Russia joint patrol in Idlib: Ministry

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A bomb attack hit the route of the joint patrol of Turkish and Russian troops in northwestern Idlib province of Syria on July 14, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said.

“Terrorists attacked by bomb vehicle on the route during the 21st TR-RF joint patrol activity,” the ministry said in a written statement.

Partial damage occurred in the two vehicles of the convoy, but no causalities occurred, said the Turkish ministry and underlined that the joint patrols will continue with all the necessary precautions.

Three Russian soldiers were injured when the joint military patrol hit an improvised explosive device, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The device blew up at 8:50 local time (0550 GMT) as their convoy patrolled the M4 highway in the southern part of a de-escalation zone, a statement said.

A Russian and a Turkish armored vehicle were damaged, with three Russians “lightly injured,” it said.

Ankara and Moscow, which back opposing sides in the Syrian conflict, brokered a cease-fire on March 5.

The deal halted a three-month Syrian regime offensive into the country’s last rebel stronghold. The Russia-backed offensive killed hundreds of civilians and displaced nearly a million people in Idlib province.

The deal also brought about the establishment of a security corridor six kilometers to the north and six km to the south of the M4 highway, a strategic motorway that links Aleppo to Latakia. Turkey controls the northern strip and Russia the southern bank of the corridor.

Joint Turkish-Russian patrols agreed in the deal began on March 15 along the M4 highway from the settlement of Trumba — two kilometers to the west of Saraqib — to the settlement of Ain al-Hawr.

The M4 highway, also known as the Aleppo-Al Hasakah road, is about 30 kilometers from Turkey’s southern border.
Idlib has long been under siege by the Assad regime forces and its allies, and previous cease-fires for the region were repeatedly violated.

Hurriyet Daily News

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