A Syrian Kurdish media outlet and a British-based NGO monitoring human rights abuses in Syria have reported that Turkish shelling in northern Syria hit a vehicle, killing one Russian soldier and wounding several others.
Monday’s shelling came after a day of tension between US-backed Kurdish fighters and Turkish troops in northern Syria left several dead on the Kurdish side.
There was no immediate comment from the Russian military, the Syrian government or Turkish officials on the reported shelling. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London, reported that one Russian soldier was killed and four others were wounded.
— المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان (@syriahr) June 12, 2023
The Kurdish news agency, North Press, said one Russian soldier was killed and three wounded.
In 2015 the downing of a Russian military jet on the Turkey-Syria border strained relations between Ankara and Moscow.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan apologized for the incident in 2016, expressing “sympathy and deep condolences” to the family of the dead pilot.
NATO member Turkey, which has conducted a diplomatic balancing act throughout the conflict in Ukraine, has good relations with its two Black Sea neighbors — Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Ukraine.