Turkey says observation post in Syria's Idlib attacked

The Turkish Defence Ministry said on Wednesday pro-Syrian government groups attacked one its observation posts in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.

"Civilian-looking groups directed by the Assad regime approached observation posts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 in the Idlib de-escalation zone and attacked observation post 7," the Defence Ministry said in a statement released via Twitter.

The group dispersed after Turkish forces took measures, it added.

Turkey has 12 observation posts in Idlib, built according to a 2018 agreement made with Russia to establish a demilitarised zone in the province. Ankara has been sending additional equipment and personnel to Syria’s last major rebel-held enclave after renewed fights with the Syrian military, which is backed by Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan brokered a ceasefire agreement on March 5 to end the fighting in the country. The deal stipulated the establishment of a security corridor stretching around 6 kilometres north and south of the strategically vital M4 highway, which connects Latakia and Saraqib.

Turkish and Russian military units have conducted joint patrols along the highway to buffer between pro-Damascus forces and rebel and Islamist militias as part of the agreement.