Russia Turkey Relations

Kremlin says Turkey gave target for Syria strikes that killed troops

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Russians say Turkish troops should not have been in building while Turks say they were in the same position for 10 days.

The Kremlin said Friday that Turkey had provided Russian forces with the target location for air strikes in Syria that accidentally killed three Turkish troops.

“The situation is obvious, unfortunately. Our military while launching strikes on terrorists followed coordinates that were given to us by our Turkish partners,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

THREE TURKISH SOLDIERS WERE KILLED AND 11 WOUNDED ON THURSDAY

Three Turkish soldiers were killed and 11 wounded on Thursday when a Russian air strike targeting jihadists in Syria hit a building where the troops were deployed, the Turkish army said.

Peskov stressed that the “causes of the incident are clear. There is no debate.”

“There should not have been Turkish soldiers within the limits of these coordinates. That’s why these strikes took place,” Peskov added.

Asked if this was a mistake by the Turkish intelligence, Peskov said the incident was caused by a communications failure.

PUTIN HAS EXPRESSED CONDOLENCES IN A TELEPHONE

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed condolences in a telephone conversation with Turkish counterpart Tayyip Recip Erdogan.

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.”

Russia and Turkey have joined forces against the Islamic State group around Al-Bab, where Ankara’s forces are fighting the jihadists on the ground.

Moscow has been flying a bombing campaign in Syria in support of the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since 2015.

Ankara and Moscow had a ferocious falling-out after a Turkish jet shot down a Russian plane on the Syrian border in November 2015, but have since mended ties and begun cooperation over Syria.

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