Russian Embassy Says Turkey Heightened Security At Mission As Ambassador Faces Threats

Russian Embassy Says Turkey Heightened Security at Mission as Ambassador Faces Threats

Turkish authorities have taken additional security measures to protect the Russian embassy in Ankara, after Ambassador Alexei Yerkhov said that he had faced threats as part of growing anti-Russian sentiment in Turkey over the escalation of violence in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, embassy Spokeswoman Irina Kasimova told Sputnik on Friday

ANKARA (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th February, 2020) Turkish authorities have taken additional security measures to protect the Russian embassy in Ankara, after Ambassador Alexei Yerkhov said that he had faced threats as part of growing anti-Russian sentiment in Turkey over the escalation of violence in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, embassy Spokeswoman Irina Kasimova told Sputnik on Friday.

Yerkhov in an interview with Sputnik Turkey on Thursday, stated that he had observed an increase in anti-Russian posts on Turkish social media, adding that he had also faced threats, amid heightened tensions in northwest Syria.

"The situation has worsened recently and because of this, at our request, the Turkish authorities have taken additional security measures," Kasimova said.

The spokeswoman added that while social media threats are unlikely to result in any action, the necessary steps were taken to bolster security measures at the embassy.

Tensions in Idlib, one of Syria's four de-escalation zones, intensified on February 3, after the Turkish Defense Ministry said seven Turkish military personnel and a civilian died after the Syrian Armed Forces shelled a Turkish observation post in the province.

On Monday, another attack by Syrian forces killed five Turkish troops and injured five more, according to the Defense Ministry.

Ankara has since conducted a number of operations on Syrian government targets in Idlib. On Friday, the Defense Ministry stated that a further 63 Syrian troops had either been killed or captured.

Idlib is the only de-escalation zone not under the control of the Syrian government, as members of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group (formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra, banned in Russia) captured areas of the province. Syria's de-escalation zones were created by representatives of Russia, Iran and Turkey during talks in Astana (now Nur-Sultan) in May 2017.

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