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Russia Says Turkey Provided Coordinates For Strikes That Killed Turkish Soldiers


The Kremlin says Russian air strikes that killed three Turkish soldiers in Syria were launched based on coordinates provided by the Turkish military.

The Turkish military has said the soldiers were killed in a "friendly fire" incident during an operation against Islamic State (IS) militants near the city of Al-Bab.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences over "the tragic incident" during a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on February 9, according to a Kremlin statement.

Now the Kremlin is saying it wasn't Russia's fault.

"Unfortunately, our military, while carrying out strikes on terrorists, was guided by coordinates given to them by our Turkish partners," Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters in a conference call on February 10.

He said that "Turkish servicemen should not have been present" at that location.

Russia and Turkey support opposite sides in the Syrian civil war, but both oppose IS militants, and they have begun coordinating operations in some cases.

Putin and Erdogan have mended ties that were badly strained after Turkish warplanes shot down a Russian jet near the Syrian border in November 2015.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP
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