12:50 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Russian President Vladimit Putin meets Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in St. Petersburg

    Putin's Reaction to Strike on Turkish Army in Syria Helps 'Avoid Damage to Ties'

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    Moscow's prompt reaction to an incident involving death of Turkish soldiers in Syria as a result of an unintentional Russian airstrike will help to avoid damage to bilateral relations, a senior Russian lawmaker told Sputnik on Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — 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.

    "I am convinced that a highly prompt and exhaustive reaction by the Russian president to this tragic incident will allow avoiding damage to bilateral relations, as it was in a case when Russian ambassador Karlov was killed in Ankara," Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council (upper house) of the Russian parliament, said.

    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.

    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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