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Kremlin says Turkey provided intel for 'friendly fire' strikes

Kremlin says Turkey provided intel for 'friendly fire' strikes

Three Turkish soldiers were "accidentally" 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.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed condolences in a telephone conversation with Turkish counterpart Tayyip Recip Erdogan. There's no controversy. The situation is evident: "our military was following the data sent by our Turkish partners, and there shouldn't have been any Turkish troops within the limits of these coordinates", the Kremlin spokesman said.

"The two leaders agreed to enhance coordination in military operations in Syria against IS and other extremist organizations", said the statement.

Turkey and its FSA rebel allies have carved out a de facto buffer zone in northern Syria in territory captured from Islamic State since August in their "Euphrates Shield" operation. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said in late January that Ankara would not cede control over the city to Damascus after its liberation.

If the Syrians and the Turks - backed in this case by the Russians - can be brought to fight ISIS together in Al-Bab, then with 5,000 of its fighters apparently trapped in the town the organisation could be facing its biggest ever military defeat in the Syrian war.

USA raid in Yemen targeted senior al-Qaeda leader Qasim al-Raymi
Meanwhile, the administration has revealed few details about the crucial intelligence it says was gathered during the operation. Given the latest reports, Kristen Welker of NBC News asked Spicer whether he would still characterize the raid as a "success".

Assad wouldn't comment on whether U.S. President Donald Trump was justified in issuing a ban on seven Muslim countries, including Syria.

Pahon also said that Turkish and US authorities have been exchanging views regarding al-Bab for months.

Russian Federation and Turkey have joined forces against ISIL, also known as ISIS, around Al Bab, 30km south of the Syria-Turkey border, where Turkish forces are battling the group on the ground. "The sides will take coordinated steps to prevent such incidents in future", Yildirim said as quoted by the Anadolu news agency. Ankara has been having serious problems with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners, the burden of unresolved domestic political disagreements is piling ever higher, and the country is in dire need of support in its continuing fight against the Islamic State.

Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed that the airstrike had killed the Turkish soldiers on Thursday.

A joint Russian, Turkish, and Iranian group was set up in Astana on February 6 to monitor the current ceasefire in Syria.


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