On May 19, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense announced that a Turkish soldier died of injuries he sustained as a result of a recent mortar attack in northern Syria.
In a statement, the ministry identified the soldier as Infantry Specialist Corporal Haydar Senel. Another soldier was injured in the same attack, which targeted a position of the Turkish military located in the outskirts of the town of Sheikh Suleiman in the western countryside of Aleppo.
The attack, which took place on May 13, was attributed to the Syrian Arab Army. It was reportedly a response to two earlier attacks by Turkish-backed militants in the western and northern countryside of Aleppo that left eleven people dead and wounded ten others.
The first attack saw Turkish-backed militants targeting a bus of the Syrian National Defense Forces (NDF) near the town of Anjara in the western Aleppo countryside with an anti-tank guided missile. Ten fighters were killed and nine others were wounded in the attack.
Later, the militants shelled the funeral of the NDF fighters that was taking place in in a cemetery near the Shiite towns of Nubl and al-Zahraa in the northern countryside of Aleppo. A child was killed, while another was wounded as a result of the shelling.
The mortar attack was not the only response to the deadly provocations of Turkish-backed militants. Warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces also carried out two waves of airstrikes on militants’ positions in the northern and western countryside of Aleppo on May 13 and 14.
The Turkish military and its proxies escalated its attacks on Syrian government forces as well as on Kurdish forces in northern and northeastern Syria recently.
The recent attacks on government forces were apparently meant to pressure Damascus into withdrawing its troops from areas held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. This would open the door for a new invasion by Turkey and its proxies.