Erdogan, Putin Discuss Attack on Turkish Soldiers in Syria

erdoganTurkish President Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed the conflict in Syria and attacks on Turkish troops there in a phone call on Friday, sources in Erdoğan’s office said.

Three Turkish soldiers were killed and ten wounded near the Syrian city of al-Bab in an air strike thought to have been carried out by Syrian government forces on Thursday, the Turkish military said. Russia is among the main backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Erdoğan told Putin that Turkey respected Syria’s territorial integrity and that an incursion launched in August to drive Islamic State militants from the border is evidence of Ankara’s determination in fighting militant groups.

Both leaders agreed on stepping up efforts to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Syria’s Aleppo, the sources said.