Russian aircraft not behind attack on Turkish soldiers: Gov’t spokesperson
ANKARARussian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that an airstrike on Turkish soldiers near al-Bab in Syria was not carried out by Russian aircraft, Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson Numan Kurtulmuş said on Nov. 28.
“Russia, through Mr. Putin, confirmed that the aircrafts involved in this attack do not belong to them,” Kurtulmuş said after a weekly cabinet meeting.
He referred to two phone conversations between presidents of Turkey and Russia on Nov. 25 and Nov. 26.
Turkey has flight records of an “aircraft or drone” that carried out the attack on Turkish soldiers early on Nov. 24, Kurtulmuş stated, adding that Ankara would take the necessary steps after “confirming” those records.
An air strike “thought to have been carried” out by Syrian government forces killed three Turkish soldiers and wounded 10 others, one of them seriously, the Turkish Armed Forces announced. The heavily injured soldier later succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in the southeastern province of Gaziantep.
The attack came on the first anniversary of Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet along the border with Syria.
When Turkish authorities argued that the base from which the jet took off from in Aleppo was under Russian control, Moscow said it would further probe the incident. It later contacted Turkey to notify it that the attack was conducted by a Syrian Albatros plane.
Putin and Erdoğan spoke over the phone at the weekend after initial contact between the militaries of Turkey and Russia.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov will meet in Alanya district of southern Antalya province on Dec. 1 for preparation talks for a high-level cooperation council.