11:01 GMT26 October 2020
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    Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan tweeted about attack on three agency’s staffers day after a protest was held outside Russian General Consulate in Istanbul amid deterioration of situation in Syria’s Idlib.

    Organized groups of people tried to break into homes of three Sputnik Turkey employees in Ankara at about 10:30 p.m. local time on Saturday, shouting nationalist chants, insults and threats.

    According to the Sputnik Turkey's staff members, the attackers were attempting to break the apartment doors. 

    They chanted slogans including “Turkey for the Turks”, “Homeland is indivisible”, threatened the Sputnik employees and called them “traitors” and “Russian spies”.

    The attackers managed to flee the scene before police arrived. Each of three groups of invaders contained at least ten people, the Sputnik employees later said.

    No one was injured as a result of the incident.

    Sputnik editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan took to Twitter to comment on the incident, raising the question of how "ghouls" were able to obtain Sputnik staffers' addresses.

    "Some ghouls have broken into homes (!) of three our employees in Ankara. They were threatening, shouting that they [Sputnik employees] are traitors, because they work for the Russians," she tweeted.
    "Let's see how the police respond," she added.

    As tensions in Syria's Idlib province have increased in recent days, a demonstration took place outside the building housing the Consulate General of Russia in Istanbul on Friday. Protesters shouted anti-Russia chants and blamed Russia for the deaths of Turkish soldiers in northern Syria.

    Some 33 Turkish troops were killed in the Idlib province on Thursday in a Syrian army strike. Syrian forces were targeting Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorists operating in the area in response to an earlier attack launched by the militants. As the Russian Defence Ministry later noted, Damascus was not aware that members of the Turkish military contingent were near the terrorists.

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