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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Roadside bomb hits Russian-Turkish patrol in Syria, injuries reported

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 14 July 2020 10:10 AM

Several Turkish and Russian soldiers have been wounded after a roadside bomb planted by militants in Syria went off near a joint Moscow-Ankara patrol in the Arab country's northwestern province of Idlib.

According to Russia's Defense Ministry, the explosion occurred near the town of Ariha on Tuesday, injuring three Russian soldiers and an unspecified number of Turkish soldiers.

"Three Russian servicemen were slightly injured. There are wounded among the crew of the Turkish armored car. All victims were promptly evacuated from the area," said the ministry.

Russia called off the patrol following the blast that damaged one Russian and one Turkish armored personnel carrier, it said.

The ministry said that Russia was evacuating its equipment from the area and moving its troops to the Hmeimim airbase in western coastal province of Latakia, where some of them would receive medical care.

Two Turkish sources, however, said there were no Turkish casualties in the attack.

On March 5, Russia and Turkey, which support opposite sides in the Syrian conflict, came to an agreement on a ceasefire regime in Idlib, where a Turkish aggression had risked the breakout of a war.

According to the agreement, joint Russian-Turkish patrols will secure a six-kilometer-wide corridor along the M4 highway connecting the two government-held provinces of Latakia and Aleppo.

The ceasefire also consolidates Syrian control over the M5 highway, which links the capital to the major cities of Hama, Homs, and Aleppo.

The ceasefire came a few months after the Syrian army launched an anti-terror operation against foreign-sponsored militants in Idlib after they failed to honor a de-escalation agreement between Ankara and Moscow.

Ankara has long sought a "safe zone" in northern Syria void of Kurdish militants – whom it sees as terrorists tied to the autonomy-seeking Kurdish groups militants at home.

The new pact came after a series of deadly clashes between Turkish and Syrian government troops.

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