Thursday, 23 February, 2017

Turkish soldiers killed in Syria

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during an opening ceremony in Mersin ISIS 'besieged' in last bastion in Aleppo - monitor
Darrell Mcdonald | 10 February, 2017, 02:04

Following Thursday's incident, the Russian defence ministry said chief of the general staff Valery Gerasimov and his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, had spoken on the phone and "agreed on closer coordination of joint actions".

Russian officials have expressed sorrow and condolences for the accidental deaths, the Turkish military said in a statement.

Both parties are investigating the incident, it said.

Syrian government troops and allied militias, as well Turkish troops, the U.S-led worldwide coalition, and Russian Federation have been going after ISIS in different parts of the country.

Although Turkey opposes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the war, reports suggest the two sides have reached an accommodation over al-Bab, orchestrated by Syria's key ally, Russia.

The Observatory said tens of fighters from the Turkish and IS sides have been killed during the confrontation since Tuesday. The two mended ties previous year after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet near the Turkey-Syrian border in November 2015.

The countries have repaired relations since 2015, when a Turkish jet shot down a Russian military helicopter. Under the pretext of fighting the "Islamic State" the Turkish forces mainly attack Syrian Kurds.

A Russia- and Turkey-sponsored cease-fire, in place since December 30, has excluded areas where militant factions, the Islamic State group and Syria's al-Qaida affiliate, operate or hold ground.

Syrian forces meanwhile have closed in on al-Bab from the south, where there is reported to be fierce fighting.

They were reportedly helping Syrian rebels in a bid to capture the city of al-Bab from ISIS.

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

At least eight people were killed in Syrian government airstrikes on a rebel-held district in Homs on Wednesday, Al Jazeera reported.

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