Russian Patrol Comes Under Turkish Mortar Attack In Northern Syria

Turkey has attacked a Russian military police convoy patrolling a northern Syria border area near Turkey, according to local correspondents and video of the incident's aftermath.

Unconfirmed Syrian Kurdish media reports say at least one Russian soldier who was part the military police (MP) patrol was injured after the convoy came under fire by Turkish artillery fired from Turkey's side of the border in an area called Derbisiye. A senior foreign correspondent for the Telegraph also posted a video of the attack's aftermath:

Early unconfirmed reports say there may be other casualties including two journalists and four civilians possibly injured in the attack on the Russian police convoy. 

Kurdistan24 News journalist Akram Salih described of the incident that the Turkish army entered the Syrian side of the border at which point the mortar was fired at the Russian side. 

Local reports say Turkish sources are angered they were not informed about a Russian military police visit to the border, while Turkish media is denying that any mortar shelling took place altogether. 

Following the White House's ordered draw down of US forces from border areas where they were embedded with Syrian Kurdish forces earlier this month, Russian military patrols moved in, as part of a Turkish 'safe zone' agreement brokered between Putin and Erdogan. 

Russian military police patrol in northern Syria. Image source: AP

Turkish forces now no doubt see the Russian patrols as 'protecting' the Kurdish militias, just as the US did before, resulting in high tensions - including this latest reported mortar attack - whether intentional or inadvertent. 

Ankara is controversially pushing to carve out a 30km buffer zone in northeast Syria. Ironically, though Erdogan has claimed the Turkish military will root out ISIS, it must be remembered that this weekend ISIS terror leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed merely 7km from the Turkish border in Idlib.