MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. Turkish servicemen did not take part in Monday’s joint patrol mission in Syria’s al-Hasakah governorate, which was conducted by the Russian military police unilaterally, Major General Yuri Borenkov, chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, said on Monday.
"The Turkish side did not arrive for a joint patrol mission and Russian military police units conducted patrolling unilaterally," he said, adding that the mission was conducted along the route Skeirek-Dellik-Kasrah-Arada-Qebira-Kasrah-Tawrat-Gafkat-Dell ik-Sheirek in the al-Hasakah governorate.
It was the third time over the past week when Turkish servicemen skipped joint patrolling in Syria.
"The patrolling mission was conducted in accordance with the plans. No incidents were reported during the mission," he noted.
Russia’s air taskforce conducted an aerial patrol mission along the route Qamishli airfield-Qwaires airfield-Metras airfield.
The Russian general also said that illegal armed groups continued to violate the ceasefire in the Idlib de-escalation zone. "A total of 21 shelling attacks were reported during the day," he said, adding that militants of illegal armed groups had shelled a number of setlements in the Latakia, Idlib and Hama governorates.
The Turkish national defense ministry said earlier on Monday that at least five Turkish soldiers had been killed as a result of shelling in Syria’s Idlib. Following this incident, Turkey delivered strikes at 115 Syrian army targets in retaliation for the attack on its soldiers in northern Syria. Turkish servicemen came under fire from the Syrian government army twice in the past seven days. Ten servicemen and three civil personnel were killed.
Idlib is the only large Syrian region that is still controlled by illegal armed groups. A norther de-escalation zone was set up in Idlib in 2017 to give shelter to militants and their families who were reluctant to voluntarily surrender arms in Eastern Ghouta and in Syria’s southern regions. Twelve Turkish observation stations are operating in the Idlib governorate.