The al-Qaeda-affiliated Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) was behind the recent attack that targeted a Turkish patrol on the M4 highway in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, the Russian center for Reconciliation in Syria revealed on May 28.
The reconciliation center said terrorists of the TIP targeted an armored vehicle of the Turkish patrol with an improvised explosive device (IED) after it had approached one of their ammo depots near the highway.
An infantry officer of the Turkish Armed Forces was killed in the attack. Another Turkish service member and several Syrian militants were reportedly injured.
The reconciliation center’s statement is in line with information provided by opposition outlets. Several outlets reported that a large explosion wiped out an ammo depot of the TIP near the M4 highway when the Turkish patrol was passing by. A video of the incident was even shared.
In spite of these facts, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense contributed the death of its officer to what it called a “mysterious explosion.”
The Turkish military is still working to secure the M4. Earlier today, Turkish forces and the Russian Military Police conducted a new joint patrol on the highway. Nevertheless, Ankara is yet to address the issue of the presence of terrorists in Greater Idlib.