Middle East
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One Russian soldier killed and four wounded in Syria by Turkish artillery shelling

Five members of a Russian convoy were killed and wounded by Turkish shells, while a Russian helicopter flew over the area to transport the wounded.

On 12 June 2023 in Aleppo province. One member of Russian forces was killed and four other members were wounded due to Turkish artillery shells targeting a Russian convoy on the Mazarea Um Hosh-Harbel road in northern Aleppo, amidst a Russian helicopter flight to transport the wounded members and the one killed.

Earlier today, SOHR said that Turkish forces fired large-caliber artillery shells at positions on the Mazarea Um Hosh-Harbel road in the northern countryside of Aleppo, within areas controlled by Kurdish and regime forces, during the passage of a Russian convoy through the area, where a shell hit an armored vehicle and damaged it.

The Turkish side has not announced anything, while the Russian side is seeking explanations and the cause of the tragedy.

The escalation threatens Turkey's alliance with Russia, which have been cooperating for many years despite their support for warring sides in the Syrian conflict.

"If Russia continues to support the pro-Assad direction, Ankara may reconsider its relations with Moscow," noted an expert known for his close ties with top figures in the Turkish government.

Turkey has recently raised transit fees for ships moving through the Bosphorus, causing problems for Russia, whose ships use the straits as the main gateway to the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.  
According to Russian expert Kostadin Siskov, Deputy Director of the Academy of Studies in Moscow and an adviser to the Kremlin, Turkey's attitude towards Russia is significant.

As he had stated, there is a scenario in which Turkey might indeed "close" the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to the Russian merchant fleet.

This scenario has a ready "solution" which has been in the "drawers" of the Russian General Staff for many years, just waiting for a political decision.

The Deputy Director of the Academy of Geopolitical Affairs Konstantin Siskov said in an interview that in case of a deterioration of the conflict, Russia and Turkey, there is a possibility of immediate circumvention of international law on Syrian territory.

"If Turkey blocks Russia in the Straits (merchant fleet we emphasize), Russia must bypass them," Siskov had stressed .

"If Turkey blocks our way to the Dardanelles , we will have to transport our cargo through the Baltic and North Sea .

Only by air it is not possible to ensure the supply of our forces in Syria, because the required amount of supplies is not ensured ", he said. According to him, "another option would mean the beginning of a full-scale war".

"Otherwise Russia will invade through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles with its warships , conducting a full-scale amphibious operation to secure control of the region. And this will certainly mark the beginning of a hard war," Siskov had reported a few years ago, where even then the current Turkish President R.T. Erdogan was in charge. 


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