Turkish soldier dead after explosion in Syria’s Idlib: Turkey defense minister

A Turkish military vehicle drives near the village of al-Nayrab, southeast of the city of Idlib in northwestern Syria on March 21, 2020. (File photo: AP)

Turkey’s defense ministry has announced the death of a Turkish soldier in Idlib, the last opposition-held territory in northwest Syria.

In a statement Wednesday, the ministry said the soldier was wounded in an explosion and died later in a hospital. It said the explosion took place in an area about 250 meters (820 feet) south of a road patrolled by Turkish forces. The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear.

At least 66 Turkish soldiers have been killed in Idlib this year.

Turkey and Russia brokered a cease-fire in March to halt a three-month Syrian government offensive aimed at capturing the province. Turkey backs some of the opposition groups in Idlib and Russia backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Russia-backed offensive killed hundreds of civilians and displaced nearly a million people.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 27 May 2020 KSA 21:07 - GMT 18:07