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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia Launches Airstrikes on Idlib Militants After Attack on Turkish Observation Post - MoD

Sputnik News

12:50 13.06.2019(updated 14:18 13.06.2019)

ANKARA (Sputnik) - Three Turkish soldiers manning an observation post in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib were injured in a mortar attack on 13 June, the Turkish Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The Russian Defence Ministry has reported that Russian combat jets have carried out four airstrikes on terrorist positions in Idlib, using coordinates provided by Turkey.

"Using the coordinates provided by the Turkish side, four bomb strikes were carried out by the Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft. As a result, large concentrations of militants and field artillery positions from which the Turkish observation post had been shelled were destroyed", the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The move came as a response to an attack by al-Nusra* allies on a Turkish Army observation post despite agreeing to a ceasefire, according to the ministry.

"Our observation post in Al-Sharia in the Idlib de-escalation zone was attacked from the territory under control of the Syrian government... Three our servicemen were lightly injured", the Turkish Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The Turkish Defence Ministry said 35 mortar rounds had been fired, damaging equipment at the post.

The wounded are being evacuated. Turkey has contacted Russia, which signed a deal last September to jointly monitor the ceasefire in Idlib. The Turkish command asked the Russian centre for Syrian reconciliation to assist "in ensuring the security of its servicemen and in attacking the positions of terrorists".

There are over a dozen militant groups in this restive Syrian province. The National Front for Liberation, a pro-Turkish alliance, and the Nusra Front* terror group have the biggest presence in the area.

Russia, Turkey and Iran are the guarantors of the ceasefire in Syria which has been ravaged by an eight-year-long conflict.

*Al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra, known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham is a terrorist group banned in Russia


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