Russia and Turkey ‘in joint air strikes’

Russia and Turkey ‘in joint air strikes’ January 18, 2017

Russian and Turkish jets have carried out their first joint strikes on so-called Islamic State (IS) inside Syria, the Russian defence ministry says.

IS was targeted in the suburbs of the town of al-Bab, Aleppo province, where Turkey suffered heavy casualties last month battling the group on the ground.

A Russian spokesman, Lt-Gen Sergei Rudskoi, said the joint action had been “highly effective”.

Russia and Turkey have become leading outside players in Syria’s civil war.

Al-Bab, about 20km (12 miles) from the Turkish border, has been the focus of a five-month Turkish campaign aimed at pushing back both IS and Kurdish forces.

US aircraft carried out strikes on the area earlier this week, also in co-operation with Turkey, but a joint combat operation between a Nato state like Turkey and Russia marks a highly unusual development.

 

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