Russian bombing in Syria mistakenly kills Turkish soldiers
Turkey's military has denied that it mistakenly told Russian warplanes to bomb a building in Syria on Thursday, killing three Turkish soldiers.
The Turkish military insisted that the troops were at the building for last 10 days and that Russia had been informed of their position. The Turkish military stated that it shared information with Russia about its operations in Syria on a regular basis as part of a deal in place with Moscow.
Turkish military said it considered the Russian incident an accident. The incident was caused by a communications failure.
But Kremlin spokesman told reporters that the pilots were guided by co-ordinates from their Turkish partners and there should not have been Turkish troops at those co-ordinates. Russian President Vladimir Putin called his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to offer condolences after Thursday's air strike, in which 11 Turkish soldiers were also wounded.
The two countries, which support opposing sides in Syria's almost six-year old civil war, are working together to drive the Islamic State group from its last stronghold in Aleppo province.
Foreign involvement in the Syrian conflict:
- It refers to political, military and operational support to parties involved in the on-going Syrian conflict that began in March 2011.
- Foreign countries and entities based outside Syria provide various types of support to parties involved in the Syrian conflict.
- The on-going conflict in Syria is widely described as a geopolitical battlefield between the regional and the world powers, primarily between the U.S. and Russia as well as between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
- The Asad government in Syria is politically and militarily supported by Iran and Russia whereas the Syrian opposition receives support from the U.S and its allies, most notably Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.
- The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an entity internationally recognised as terrorist organization receives support from several non-state groups and organizations from across the Muslim World
Russian role in the Syrian conflict:
Since Sep 2015, Russia is the only foreign power that has military assets openly stationed in Syria and is carrying out an intensive air campaign against ISIS and other anti-government forces in Syria at the request of the Syrian government. The Russia military action in Syria has been criticized by the U.S. and its regional allies that include Turkey which clashed with the Russian military over the alleged violation of its airspace, as well as Russia?s bombardment of areas held by anti-government forces that are supported by Turkey. Since July 2015, Turkey also openly and actively opposes further expansion of the Syrian Kurdish forces along its border.
Until 2015, the porous Turkish border was used by militants including potential ISIS fighters and other radical groups to freely move in and out of Syrian territory.