The Ministry of Defense of Russia announced on June 13 that its warplanes had attacked militias responsible for the recent mortar attack on a Turkish observation post in southern Idlib.
According to an official statement by the ministry, the airstrikes targeted four mortar positions and gatherings of the militants. The ministry said that Ankara had provided the targets’ coordinates and requested the airstrikes.
“The Turkish side asked the Russian side to help ensure the security of Turkish soldiers and attack the positions of the militants … The close cooperation between the Russian and Turkish leadership in the fight against terrorist groups in Syria will continue,” the ministry’s statement reads.
The Russian statement contradicts with the Turkish one, which claimed that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was behind the attack. Ankara didn’t provide any evidence to back its claim.
The mortar attack, which was the fourth of its kind, injured three Turkish soldiers and damaged facilities, equipment and materials inside the observation post.
The contradiction between the Russian and Turkish statements indicates that Ankara may have attempted to take advantage of the incident to increase pressure on the Damascus government.