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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Syrian soldier killed in Turkey shelling on Latakia: Media

Iran Press TV

Mon Feb 1, 2016 2:58PM

A Syrian soldier has been killed and five more have been wounded as Turkish forces purportedly shelled military positions in Syria's northern territories.

Syrian media said Monday that Turkish shelling a day earlier had targeted a gathering of Syrian forces in Jabal Atirah region in the northern countryside of Latakia Province, in northwestern Syria.

The reports said a Syrian soldier was killed in the attack, an incident which some believe shows Turkey's desperate attempt to halt the advances of the Syrian forces against militants loyal to Ankara in Latakia.

There was no official comment from Damascus or from the Turkish side on the suspected attack. However, Russia, which is at odds with Turkey over the conflict in Syria, claimed that it has intelligence proving that the attack happened in Latakia.

Russian Defense Ministry said Turkey carried out an assault on the Syrian territory with rounds of artillery fire, adding it has videos which could confirm the attack was launched from the Turkish side.

Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said the Russians had obtained a video from the Syrian army showing that Turkish forces had targeted areas in Latakia with artillery. He added that another video proved the particular attack on Sunday which killed the Syrian soldier.

Turkey on Saturday claimed that Russian fighter jets, which have been backing Syria's military operations against militants since late September, had once again violated its territory, warning that the move could have repercussions similar to what happened in November when Ankara shot down a Russian Sukho jet near the Syrian border. That sparked an unprecedented row between Moscow and Ankara, leading to an array of sanctions imposed by Russia on trade and military cooperation with Turkey.

Konashenkov denied Turkey's airspace violation claims, calling the allegations "unfounded propaganda."

Backed by Russia's air cover, Syrian forces and allied fighters have managed to recapture major areas in Latakia, including key heights along the Turkish border.

Moscow has backed claims by Damascus that Turkey is overtly providing support to the militants from Syria's ethnic Turkmens in Latakia who are fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.



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