Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said Russian air strikes that accidentally killed three Turkish soldiers in Syria were launched based on coordinates provided to Russia by the Turkish military.
The Turkish military has said the “friendly fire” incident occurred during an operation against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), highlighting the risk of unintended clashes between the numerous outside powers in a complex war.
“Unfortunately, our military, while carrying out strikes on terrorists, was guided by coordinates given to them by our Turkish partners, and Turkish servicemen should not have been present on those coordinates,” Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, told a conference call with reporters on Friday.
“It was a lack of coordination in providing coordinates, that is how I would formulate it,” said Peskov.
Speaking with reporters in the city of Afyonkarahisar, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said it was important that President Vladimir Putin had expressed his condolences to his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“From our side the issue is being investigated. Initial information shows this was an accident … and an undesired incident as a result of incorrect information, coordinates,” Kurtulmuş said in televised comments.
“It has been understood that closer coordination is required, both with the coalition and with Russia.”