By Ali Kemal Akan
ANKARA (AA) - A Turkish soldier was martyred in a terrorist rocket and mortar attack in the northern Syrian province of Idlib, in one of the country’s de-escalation zones, the military said on Tuesday.
In a statement, the Turkish General Staff said that five soldiers and one civilian employee were also slightly injured in the attack, as terror groups targeted Turkish forces at the site of a planned sixth observation point in the city.
Turkish forces responded to the attack, the statement added.
During peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana, the three guarantor countries Turkey, Iran and Russia agreed to establish de-escalation zones -- in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited -- in Idlib, Syria and in parts of the Aleppo, Latakia, and Hama provinces.
On Oct. 12, 2017, the Turkish military started to cross into the region to establish observation points to monitor the cease-fire regime in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
Under the Astana agreement, Turkey is set to gradually establish 12 observation points, from Idlib's north to its south.
Idlib, located in northwestern Syria on the Turkish border, faced intense attacks by the Assad regime after a vicious civil war broke out in 2011.
Since March 2015, Idlib was no longer under the control of the Assad regime and was dominated by military opposition groups and anti-regime armed organizations.