06:16 GMT09 July 2020
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    The death of Turkish soldiers in Syria in Russia's accidental airstrike is a tragedy, but Turkey and Russia should continue to act jointly against the threat of terrorism, a senior Turkish military source in Ankara told Sputnik on Thursday.

    ANKARA (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.

    "There was a tragedy, we are extremely saddened. However, we must proceed from the fact that in our region for the fight against terrorism and for peace, Turkey and Russia should continue to act together, shoulder to shoulder. There are many who would like to see our relationship with Russia deteriorate," the source said.

    There are no plans of holding emergency contacts between Russian and Turkish military at the moment following the Russian airstrike that incidentally killed three Turkish soldiers in the northern Syria on Thursday, a diplomatic source in Ankara told Sputnik.

    "At the moment – at 19:30 [16:30 GMT] on Thursday – there are no plans of holding an extraordinary session between the military of two countries on the incident that caused deaths of Turkish servicemen in Syria," the source 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.

    Related:

    Turkish Air Force Kills Dozens of Daesh Terrorists in North Syria Amid Al-Bab Op
    Watch Syrian Army Closing in on Strategic Town of al-Bab (VIDEO)
    US-Russia Deconfliction Meetings on Syria’s Al-Bab Occur Several Times Per Week
    Tags:
    Daesh, al-Bab, Turkey, Syria, Russia
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