Three Russian soldiers were slightly injured during an attack in Syria on Wednesday morning, according to the Russian Defense Ministry’s Center for Syria Reconciliation.
An improvised explosive device (IED) went off at around 5:50 a.m. (GMT) during the 20th joint patrol of Russian and Turkish troops of the M4 highway in the south of the de-escalation zone in Idlib, the center said.
The explosion occurred on the path of a motor convoy and damaged a Russian infantry combat vehicle as well as a Turkish armored vehicle. Several Turkish service members were also injured, according to the statement.
All injured soldiers have been evacuated; the Russians have been taken to the Hmeimim air base where they received medical treatment.
Russia and Turkey are currently investigating, in coordination with Syrian special services, whether Idlib militants are behind the attack, Sputnik news agency reported.
A 12-kilometre-wide security corridor was set up along the M4 highway in early March under an agreement between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which halted an upsurge in fighting in Idlib between Turkish forces and allied militias, on one side, and Syrian army, on the other.
As part of that deal, Russia and Turkey have been carrying out joint patrols of the strategic highway, which runs parallel with Turkey’s southern border and connects the provinces of Latakia and Aleppo.