Poor Coordination Behind Deadly Russian Strike on Turkish Army in Al-Bab - Putin

© REUTERS / Khalil AshawiTurkish forces and members of the Free Syrian Army are seen at the al Baza'a village on the outskirts of al-Bab town in Syria February 4, 2017
Turkish forces and members of the Free Syrian Army are seen at the al Baza'a village on the outskirts of al-Bab town in Syria February 4, 2017 - Sputnik International
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said that poor coordination was the reason for an unintentional Russian airstrike killing Turkish soldiers near Syria's al-Bab, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Putin on Thursday informed the Russian Security Council meeting participants about his conversation with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and discussed the Syrian settlement with them, Peskov said.

"President Putin informed the meeting participants about the recent telephone conversation with Turkish President Erdogan, said in particular that he expressed condolences to his Turkish counterpart over the fact that early this morning Turkish soldiers had been killed as a result of lack of coordination of coordinates during Russian Aerospace Forces' airstrikes on terrorists during a joint operation to liberate al-Bab," Peskov said.

Earlier in the day, the Kremlin spokesman confirmed to Sputnik that Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over an accidental Russian airstrike that had killed Turkish soldiers in Syria. Peskov said that Russia and Turkey will jointly investigate the deadly incident.

Turkish military vehicles drive in the Syrian rebel-held town of al-Rai, as they head towards the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria January 9, 2017 - Sputnik International
Kremlin Confirms Accidental Russian Airstrike Kills Turkish Soldiers in Syria
The Russian and Turkish presidents held a phone conversation earlier on Thursday. Putin expressed condolences to Erdogan over the deaths of Turkish soldiers near Syria's al-Bab, the Kremlin said earlier. They also agreed to expand military coordination during the operation against militants from Daesh and other extremist groups in Syria.

Earlier in the day, the Turkish General Staff said that an accidental Russian airstrike killed three Turkish soldiers and wounded 11 others in northern Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry has also confirmed the unintentional strike, killing Turkish servicemen in Syria. The ministry said that Russian bombers had been on a mission to destroy Daesh terrorists' positions near al-Bab, where Turkish soldiers had been accidentally bombed.

The news comes as the Turkish military operation in Syria's al-Bab has entered the final stage. Turkey's units entered central al-Bab, the operation is being conducted in coordination with Russia to prevent clashes with Syrian government forces.

Russian and Turkish military jets have repeatedly jointly bombed Daesh targets near al-Bab in Syria. Al-Bab is one of Daesh’s last remaining strongholds near the Turkish border. Capturing the city is of strategic importance to Turkey in order to prevent the Syrian Kurds taking it and unifying their own territories.

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