MHP leader slams Russian Federation over bombing of Turkish troops

by Abel Hampton February 13, 2017, 0:25

Russian jets have been backing the advance of the Syrian army toward al-Bab from south and southwest, while Turkish troops and its partners are besieging the town from the northern, eastern and western directions.

Thursday's airstrike deaths raise the number of Turkish troops killed in Turkey's operation in Syria to 64.

He said IS fighters have begun deserting al-Bab, which has been under attack for weeks.

"Neither the Syrian regime nor Turkey had any interest in the Kurds taking al-Bab", argues Fabrice Balanche, an analyst with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a US -based think tank.

With the success of the al-Bab operation, Euphrates Shield Operation will reach its goal, Kurtulmus said in an interview with Turkish TV channel HaberTurk.

The Turkish-backed forces are racing to seize al-Bab before rival Syrian government forces arrive.

Despite backing opposite sides in Syria's conflict - Moscow is a government ally while Turkey supports the opposition - the two countries have worked closely in recent months.

Turkey's presence in Syria is dubbed illegitimate by Damascus while Russia's presence has its blessing.

The objective of the coalition's latest stage in the campaign the total encirclement of Raqqa and severe the road to the terror group's bastion in Deir al-Zor, Southeast of Raqqa.

And Russian warplanes (and belatedly USA -led coalition jets) have targeted IS positions in al-Bab to assist the advancing Turkish forces.

The Turkish opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader said Sunday that Russian Federation ignored the "principles and rules of worldwide law". Syria's state news agency said mortar shells also hit other buildings in the neighborhood.

Another fight against IS is raging in east and northeast Syria, where Kurdish troops, backed by the United States, are advancing against the IS in the militants' de facto capital of Raqqa.

Though small and out of the way, al-Bab is shaping up to be the weather vane for the rest of the conflict as the United Nations plans to convene Syria peace talks in Geneva on February 20.

The Turkish-led forces entered al-Bab from the northwest, seizing control of several neighbourhoods.

It was not immediately clear whether the confrontation described by the sources had taken place in the same area as the air strike that killed the Turkish soldiers.

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