The Turkish Ministry of National Defense announced on May 27 that a service member of the Armed Forces was killed in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib.
In an official statement, the ministry said the service member was killed when a mysterious explosion struck a Turkish patrol on the M4 highway, which links the cities of Lattakia and Aleppo.
The slain service member was identified as infantry lieutenant Canbert Tatar, reportedlly from the central Turkish city of Elazığ.
— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) May 27, 2020
Some opposition sources claimed that Tatar was killed as a result of an explosion that wiped out a headquarters of the al-Qaeda Turkistan Islamic Part (TIP) near the town of al-Gassaneyah. Debris from the mysterious explosion struck the Turkish patrol on the nearby M4. Six TIP terrorists were killed in the explosion.
Other sources, however, claimed that an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted the Turkish patrol as it was passing on the M4 highway.
Last March, a Turkish service member was killed in an IED attack on the M4. The highway is still blocked. The militants are holding onto key positions on both side of the highway. Ankara is yet to take action to end this dangerous situation and implement the March 5 agreement with Russia.