Russian, Turkish Jets Conduct First Joint Operation in Syria's Aleppo
The Russian General Staff said that Russian and Turkish military aircraft have conducted their first joint operation in Syria.
The Turkish Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out their joint operation against Daesh near Al-Bab in the Aleppo province; Sputnik reported.
"Nine strike aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces, including four Su-24M, four Su-25 and one Su-34 bomber, as well as eight Turkish Air Force's jets — four F-16 and four F-4 aircraft — are involved in the aerial campaign agreed with Syrian authorities," Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy, the chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate, said at a news briefing in Moscow.
A total of 36 targets have been destroyed by Russian and Turkish military jets, Rudskoy said.
"A total of 36 targets have been struck. I want to emphasize that they have been agreed in advance through General Staffs and commands of aviation groups of the two countries."
According to the first estimates of the results of the Russia-Turkey joint airstrikes in Syria, they have been highly effective, he said.
The news comes amid a nationwide ceasefire in Syria backed by Russia and Turkey which came into effect on December 30 and was later supported by a UN Security Council resolution.
Turkey is currently conducting an operation in Syria dubbed Euphrates Shield. On August 24, Turkish forces, supported by Free Syrian Army rebels and US-led coalition aircraft, began a military operation dubbed the Euphrates Shield to clear the Syrian border town of Jarabulus and the surrounding area from Daesh terrorist group. As Jarabulus was retaken, the joint forces of Ankara, the coalition and Syrian rebels continued the operation to gain control over Al-Bab in the Aleppo province.
Al-Bab is one of Daesh’s last remaining strongholds near the Turkish border. Capturing the city is of strategic importance to Turkey in order to prevent the Syrian Kurds taking it and unifying their own territories.