Russian Federation and Turkey offer conflicting reports on Turkish soldiers' death

Rebel fighters gather around a pick-up truck carrying food on the outskirts of the northern Syrian town of al-Bab

"It was a lack of coordination in providing coordinates, that is how I would formulate it", Peskov added.

The Turkish military said it regularly shared information with Russian Federation about its operations in Syria as part of a deal in place with Moscow.

The incident is the first reported between the Syrian- and Turkish-backed factions.

The Kremlin said the leaders agreed after the incident to "enhance military coordination in the course of the operation in Syria against the Islamic State fighters and other extremist organisations". There are reports coming in about the fighting in Al Bab, with one suggesting Turkish troops are engaged in fighting with Syrian army forces, but this has not been confirmed. In late December, they brokered a cease-fire for Syria, and in January they sponsored peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, attended by Syrian rebels and officials of President Bashar Assad's government.

"Rebels shot to warn them not to get any closer, but the tank responded and a clash erupted", a rebel source told Reuters on Friday speaking about Thursday's clash.

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Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said earlier this week that clashes with Syrian forces had been avoided thanks to global coordination, including that between Turkey and Russian Federation. "This whole incident felt like a test".

"Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Army General Valery Gerasimov expressed condolences to [Turkish] General Hulusi Akar in connection with the death of three Turkish soldiers operating in the area of the city of al-Bab as a result of unintentional strike by a Russian aircraft".

The Observatory said the forces had made "important progress" and taken a village near the town, the jihadist group's last major stronghold in the northern province of Aleppo.

There was no immediate comment from Russian Federation. It was not immediately clear whether the confrontation described by the sources had taken place in the same area as the air strike.


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