Russian airstrike kills Turkish soldiers in Syria

Alicia WestFeb 11, 2017

The Russian Air Force strike which killed Turkish soldiers in Syria was guided by positioning data provided by Turkey, and there should not have been any Turkish troops in the area, the Kremlin spokesman has said.

The Kremlin spokesman said on Friday the air strikes were based on coordinates provided to Russian Federation by the Turkish military.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence also expressed condolences for the Turkish casualties in a call with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, in which they discussed cooperation in the fight against terrorism, Yildirim´s office said.

Under the pretext of fighting the "Islamic State" the Turkish forces mainly attack Syrian Kurds.

The incident could have happened because of a fault of the Turkish Command.

The Kremlin said that the leaders agreed after the incident to "enhance military coordination in the course of the operation in Syria against the Islamic State fighters and other extremist organisations".


Turkish-backed rebel fighters have managed to capture the western outskirts of al-Bab, which lies about 30km south of Turkey. "Turkish servicemen should not have been present at those coordinates", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a conference call with reporters on February 10. Khalid al-Urduni, the supposed Daesh-appointed governor of al-Bab, was killed on Saturday, Feb. 4, in counterterrorism operations, according to a written statement released by the Turkish military the following day.

The Syrian ceasefire excluded areas where militant factions, IS and Syria's al-Qaida affiliate, operate or hold ground.

In November 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian jet over Syria claiming that it had crossed into the Turkish airspace.

Syria's President Bashar Assad says in an interview that there are "definitely" terrorists among the millions of Syrians seeking refuge in the West.

In a signal that the incident hasn't hurt a Russia-Turkey rapprochement, Peskov said on Friday that Erdogan is set to visit Russia next month.

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