MOSCOW – The Russian military said Wednesday it has teamed up with Turkey to conduct joint airstrikes, coordinated with Damascus, against an Islamic State group’s stronghold in northern Syria. It is the first acknowledgment of Russian cooperation in support of Turkey’s offensive in the area.
Reports of Moscow and Turkey coordinating airstrikes have occurred twice previously- but this is the first acknowledgement of such cooperation- Coming after the signed agreement mentioned here: January 12/2016- Turkey, Russia sign agreement of coordinating air operations in Syria
It is also the first incident of indirect coordination between the Turkish and the Syrian governments.
Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of the military’s General Staff said nine Russian warplanes and eight Turkish jets have taken part in the strikes on the outskirts of al-Bab. He said the joint airstrikes were “coordinated with the Syrian side.”
It highlighted an increasingly close alliance between Russia and Turkey, which last month jointly brokered a Syria truce and are working to prepare Syrian talks in Kazakhstan next week.Previous Post :Syrian Peace Talks : January 23rd Kazakhstan
He said that Russian and Turkish aircraft struck 36 targets, which have been jointly selected by General Staffs and air force officials of the two militaries.The Aviationist
Rudskoi added that drones and satellites had been involved in target selection over the past two days.
Last week, the Russian and Turkish militaries signed an agreement to prevent midair incidents and ensure air safety during operations over Syria. “It created the basis for unprecedented joint action against international terrorist groups in Syria,” Rudskoi said.
Four Su-24Ms, four Su-25s and one Su-34 bomber of the Russian Air Force along with four F-16 and four F-4 jets belonging to the Turkish Air Force have carried out the first joint strike in Syria on Jan. 18: an interesting mix of aircraft for a quite rare COMAO (Combined Air Operation) made of platforms able to perform CAS (Close Air Support), BAI (Battlefield Air Interdiction), S/DEAD (Suppression/Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses) and Strike as well as Air Superiority and Aerial Escort.From Earlier:
The raid aimed at destroying 36 ground targets was previously agreed with Syrian authorities, said Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy, the chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate in a briefing in Moscow.