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Russia-Turkey joint patrol hit by bomb attack in Syria

Ural 4320 armored Russian Army vehicle (Stanislav Kozlovskiy/Wikipedia)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said on July 14 that a roadside bomb planted by militants hit a joint Russian-Turkish patrol in Syria, wounding three Russian soldiers, Russian news agencies reported.

Several Turkish soldiers were also wounded in the blast, according to reports.

The blast occurred in the southern part of the rebel-controlled Idlib region in northeastern Syria during a joint patrol mission along the strategic M4 highway, which connects Aleppo to Latakia on the Mediterranean coast.

“The explosion damaged an armored personnel carrier belonging to the Russian military police and a Turkish armored vehicle. Three Russian servicemen sustained minor injuries. There were also injuries on board the Turkish armored vehicle. All injured servicemen were rapidly evacuated from the area,” the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria said in a statement quoted by Interfax on July 14.

Turkey and Russia brokered a March cease-fire in Idlib following a months-long Russia-backed offensive by Syrian forces that displaced nearly 1 million people and threatened to send a flood of refugees into Turkey.

As part of the cease-fire deal, Turkish and Russian troops conduct joint patrols in a buffer zone between rebel fighters and Syrian government forces along a section of the M4 highway.