A Turkish service member had died of wounds he sustained from a “car accident” in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense announced on December 9.
In a brief statement, the ministry identified the service member as Sgt. Emre Ceylan. The ministry didn’t provide any information on the alleged car accident in which Ceylan sustained his fatale wounds.
— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) December 9, 2021
The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) contradicted the official Turkish statement. The London-based monitoring group said that the Turkish service member was in fact fatally wounded on October 15 when a heavy improvised explosive device struck a Turkish convoy as it was moving towards the Turkish border on the Bab al-Hawa highway in the eastern Idlib countryside.
Two Turkish service members were allegedly killed on the spot while five others were wounded. On October 31, one of the wounded surrendered to his wounds raising the death toll from the attack to three, according to the SOHR. Now, with the death of Ceylan the alleged death toll has risen to four.
Sarayat Ansar Abu Baker As-Siddiq claimed responsibility for the October 15 attack in an official statement. Very little is known about the group that first emerged in November of 2020.
The Turkish Ministry of National Defense may have kept the results of the attack a secret in order to avoid a backlash against the country’s mountain losses in Syria. It’s worth noting that on December 9, three Turkish soldiers were also killed in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.