On August 25th, a Russian military vehicle was targeted with an RPG along the M4 Highway, during the 25th Turkish-Russian Joint Patrol.
— Mete Sohtaoğlu (@metesohtaoglu) August 25, 2020
There are no fatalities reported.
Exactly one week earlier, on August 17th, a Turkish military vehicle was hit by a blast during the same 25th patrol.
The Turkish Defense Ministry noted that there had been an attack that caused material damage but no deaths. No further information was immediately available.
The Russian Defense Ministry said no Russian soldiers were hurt in the incident.
Following the attack, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Just days prior, on August 14th, Russia said the joint military patrols in Idlib, carried out along the M4 highway linking Syria’s east and west, had been suspended over increasing militant attacks in the area.
It appeared that the decision had been reversed, as they began again on August 17th, but to renewed attacks.
When the patrols were cancelled, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that ‘radicals’ have prompted a suspension of the patrols.
Most of these radicals that carry out the attacks are Turkish-backed groups that carry out attacks on both the Russian and their supposedly allied Turkish troops.
“Terrorists have stepped up the amount of shelling on government troops and nearby settlements, not ceasing their provocations in the ‘security corridor’ along the M4 highway. Thus, the joint patrols have been suspended,” Zakharova said.
The two militaries had carried out 24 joint patrols along the key M4 highway that links Syria’s east and west, with the latest along the Trumbah and Ayn Al Havron road.
The current 25th patrol appears to be still continuing, despite the two attacks within 7 days.
Two patrols had previously been cut short over security concerns.
The ceasefire reached by Ankara and Moscow on March 5th has largely held, with both sides saying there have only been minor violations.
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- ISIS Claimed Responsibility For Recent Attack On Russian Troops In Syria’s Deir Ezzor
- Russia Suspends Joint Patrols With Turkey On M4 Highway In Syria’s Greater Idlib