Russia hits ISIL in al-Bab on Turkish military intelligence
Uğur Ergan - ANKARA
Russian military jets have hit Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets near al-Bab after receiving intelligence from the Turkish military.
The Turkish Armed Forces said on Dec. 30 Russian aircraft had carried out three air strikes against ISIL in the area of al-Bab and south of the town in northern Syria, killing 12 of the militants.
According to military sources, Turkey - which is continuing to carry out its Euphrates Shield Operation in Syria’s north - and Russia shared information on their air operations around al-Bab to eliminate risks.
As part of the information and intelligence sharing, Turkey informed Russia that an ISIL car convoy was approaching Turkish soldiers from the south of the town. The coordinates of the bomb-laden cars convoy was given to Russia, which bombed the convoy and destroyed the vehicles. In addition, Russia also hit an important target in the center of al-Bab using intelligence from Turkey.
“We have got the cooperation that we couldn’t get with the [U.S.-led anti-ISIL] coalition with Russia,” a military source who asked to remain anonymous told daily Hürriyet.
“The jets of both countries had operations over al-Bab, but we constantly informed each other and shared coordinates. It was a complete joint operation mentality,” said the source.
In a round-up of its military operations over the past 24 hours in support of rebels in northern Syria, the Turkish military stated on Dec. 30 that one Turkish soldier was killed and five were wounded in an ISIL attack to the south of al-Azrak.
Turkish warplanes also carried out airstrikes in the areas of al-Bab and Daglabash, destroying 17 ISIL targets and killing 26 militants, the military added.
Meanwhile, one of the “emirs” of ISIL was among the militants killed in an airstrike carried out by Turkish warplanes in Syria on Dec. 29, sources in the region claimed.
The vehicle holding Ebu Husen Tunusi and bodyguards in his motorcade was reportedly hit during a Turkish air operation in al-Bab.
Tunusi had been chosen as an emir by ISIL and was transferred to al-Bab from the de-facto capital of the jihadist group, Raqqa.