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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Two Turkish Soldiers Killed in Rocket Attack by 'Radical Groups' in Syria's Idlib

Sputnik News

19:58 GMT 19.03.2020(updated 20:44 GMT 19.03.2020)

The situation in northern Syria recently calmed down, as Moscow and Ankara reached a ceasefire, suspending clashes between Syrian forces on the one side, and Turkish troops and Turkey-backed militants on the other.

Two Turkish soldiers have been killed and one more injured in a rocket attack by "radical groups" in the Syrian province of Idlib, the Turkish Ministry of Defence said on Thursday.

Turkish forces responded with retaliatory fire against detected targets of the radical groups, the statement added.

Later, the head of the Russian Defense Ministry's center for Syria reconciliation, Rear Adm. Oleg Zhuravlev, confirmed that two Turkish servicemen were killed in a clash with militants from a terrorist group on the M4 highway.

"During the engineering reconnaissance of the M4 highway near the settlement of Mhanbel, Turkish soldiers were attacked by militants of one of terrorist groups that are not controlled by Turkey. Two Turkish soldiers were killed during the clash", Zhuravlev said.

Zhuravlev added that the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation calls on the commanders of illegal armed groups to abandon armed provocations and take the path of a peaceful settlement in areas under their control.

A major escalation was avoided in the province thanks to an agreement negotiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan on establishing a security corridor that runs six kilometres (3.7 miles) north and south of the M4 highway that connects Latakia to Saraqib.

Earlier in February, local terrorist groups intensified attacks against the Syrian Army, forcing a response in kind. Damascus forces, however, shelled Turkish troops as they were returning the terrorists' fire, killing 33 servicemen, who, according to Russia, were not supposed to be in the region of operation.

Ankara vowed to retaliate for the deaths of its soldiers by launching an offensive against the Syrian Army dubbed Operation Spring Shield. The attacks reportedly resulted in the deaths of dozens of Syrian servicemen.

© Sputnik

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