The Russian Foreign Ministry has released a statement reporting the “tragic death of Russian and Turkish soldiers” in Syria’s Idlib province.
“Between December 2019 and January 2020, terrorists from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham who had captured the de-escalation zone initiated their aggressive forays into and attacks against the positions of the Syrian government forces in the neighboring cities, especially Aleppo. In December 2019, we documented more than 1,400 militant attacks using tanks, machine guns, infantry combat vehicles and mortar and artillery bombardment,” the ministry reports.
The department remarks that “in mid January, Russian and Turkish soldiers made another attempt to introduce a ‘silence regime’ in the Idlib de-escalation zone”.
“But not only did the terrorists not reduce their combat activity, they actually increased their attacks. In the last two weeks of January alone, upwards of 1,000 attacks were documented. The number of casualties and wounded among Syrian soldiers and civilians outside the de-escalation zone has reached the hundreds. Tragically, Russian and Turkish military specialists have been killed,” the ministry states.
Russia’s diplomatic department did not specify exactly how many Russians had been killed in Syria at the end of 2019. Recently there have been reports that four FSB special forces officers were killed near Aleppo.