Turkey Satisfied With Russia's Response After Airstrike Incident

Feb 10, 2017, 01:44
Turkey Satisfied With Russia's Response After Airstrike Incident

Russian airstrikes have accidentally killed three Turkish soldiers and injured 11 others in northern Syria, Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call, the Kremlin said.

Both Turkish and Russian parties have launched an investigation regarding the incident.

It came after a series of attacks on the country carried out by Islamic State or Kurdish militants.

The capture of the town would deepen Turkish influence in an area of northern Syria where it has created a de facto buffer zone.

Syrian troops and the pro-Turkish rebels supported by Turkish soldiers are now within 3km of each other on opposite sides of al-Bab, the Associated Press news agency says.

As of Thursday morning, anti-IS forces were in control of the northern part of the town of al-Bab amid fierce clashes with the remaining IS fighters.

The incident comes after a warming of relations between the two countries, which had previously been strained after Turkey downed a Russian jet near the Syrian border two years ago.

The locations put these fighters in close proximity to Syrian regime forces who are also advancing on al-Bab.

Al-Bab has been besieged since Monday, when government forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad advancing from the south cut off a road leading into the town.

"The al-Bab operation must be completed immediately in the period ahead".

Thursday's airstrike deaths raise the number of Turkish troops killed in Turkey's operation in Syria to 64.

Russian Federation began its military intervention in the Syrian civil war in September 2015.

United States support for the YPG has angered Turkey, which views it as an extension of a Kurdish militia that is waging a rebellion in Turkey.

"There's daily coordination ongoing between the Turkish military and the rest of the coalition - as they continue to conduct operations there", US Air Force Col. John Dorrian told a briefing after Turkey earlier announced the development.

The Syrian rebels have been battling IS for the city since late 2016.

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