It seems that the euphoria of the expansion of control over the Syrian regions, particularly in the city of Idlib, the last stronghold of the major armed opposition, could not be completed by the Russian leadership, as it was bogged down by news circulated about the killing of four Russian FSB officers. They died near the coastal city of Latakia, which is under total control by the Syrian regime.
According to the Nawras Center for Studies, the four officers, Ruslan Ghamadyev, Dmitriy Minov, Polat Akhmatianov and Vissold Trivimov, were killed in an ambush on their return to Latakia by detonating a device that targeted their armored vehicle.
In a sign of a breach of Russian movements in Syria, the center quoted the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, confirming that the party behind the killing of the four officers was aware of the group’s path, adding: “The officers were fired at from a close range in the chest and the head areas to eliminate them after their car was detonated” indicates that if the information about the method of officers’ killing is confirmed, then this was a deliberate assassination.”
Besides, the newspaper mentioned that the officers belonged to a professional snipers unit, who contributed to securing the recent visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Syria, noting that they were on a secret mission to the city of Kassab north of Latakia after an official request by the Syrian regime to Russia for securing a meeting that was supposed to take place between leaders from Syria and Turkey in Kassab, stressing that no one knows the presence of Russian snipers and their mission except for a very limited number of Syrian officers.
The Russian newspaper accuses explicitly the Syrian regime for the killing saying that the incident was in fact meant to add more tension to the relationship between Turkey and Russia, adding: “The recent escalation in Syria may prove that killing of Russian snipers as a provocation was successful, as an important meeting between the Turkish and Russian leader was cancelled due to the events.