17:49 Nov. 24, 2016
Syrian government jet and Kurdish forces attacked Turkish troops, operating against IS
"Three Turkish soldiers were martyred and 10 others wounded Thursday, Nov/ 24, in an air attack carried out by Syrian regime forces", the Turkish military has said according to state run Anadolu agency.
Starting at around 3.30 a.m. local time (0030GMT), Assad forces carried out air attacks on Turkish troops close to the city of Al-Bab in northern Syria, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement. The dead and injured were taken to hospitals in Turkey's southern Kilis and Gaziantep provinces. One of the injured soldiers is in a critical condition.
Turkish journalist Metehan Demir reported on Twitter: "An Assad air force L-39 "Albatros" war plane hit and killed Turkish soldiers near al-Bab. Turkish F-16 on standby."
FLAŞ: Suriye'de ElBab yakınında birliğimize rejime ait Albatros uçağıyla saldırıldı.Şehitler burada verildi.Uçak Halepe indi.F16'lar alarmda— Metehan Demir (@metehan_demir) November 24, 2016
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim was briefed on the attack by Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar and Defense Minister Fikri Isik.
#BREAKING Turkish PM on airstrike that killed 3 soldiers in Syria:Apparently there are some circles not pleased with our fight against ISIS— CNN Türk ENG (@CNNTURK_ENG) November 24, 2016
Yıldırım also vowed ‘retaliation' against Syrian attack on Turkish troops, Hurriyet Daily News states. He has said an attack by the Syrian regime that killed three Turkish troops in northern Syria will "not be left unanswered," vowing that the Turkish army's determination to "clear the area of terrorists is unaffected by the move."
"It is obvious that there are some who are unhappy with Turkey's fight against the Islamic State. But this attack and other such attacks will be retaliated," Yıldırım told reporters.
He also reaffirmed the assessment of Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar that the attack was carried out by the Syrian regime.
The reaction of the Assad's main ally, Vladimir Putin, on the new stage of conflict is not known yet.
German Bild's political editor Julian Roepke commented the situation in a way, that "Turkey, YPG, Assad end even IS are played by Russia to weaken each other inside Syria." "Putin gave Erdogan security guarantees to surrender Aleppo for fighting ISIS in Northern Syria. Then he allowed YPG (Kurdish ‘People's Protection Units' of Northern Syria – UT) & Assad to attack his troops," Roepke explained on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Turkish media reported the exact place of the incident.
As the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) prepares for an extensive operation in al-Bab, the Syrian Kurds Defence Forces (SDF) has also been approaching the town from the east, fighting the FSA to take villages along the way, Daily Sabah adds. The SDF is just around 10 kilometres away from al-Bab.
In addition, the Assad regime recently made its intentions known by launching an offensive toward al-Bab. The already complex situation in and around al-Bab is likely to get even more complicated with the Assad regime in the present mix.
FSA presence in the region poses a threat to the Assad regime and its allies. If al-Bab was to be seized by the FSA, it would allow the opposition fighters to transport humanitarian aid as well as military equipment to their fellow fighters in and around Aleppo.
Geopolitical and security analyst Michael Horowitz reported, that SDF-affiliated ‘Manbij Military Council' claims it targeted and destroyed a Turkish tank west of Manbij, Syria. The new wave of attacks on Turkish troops is also reported, but not confirmed yet.
#Breaking initial/unconfirmed reports of a new wave of air and artillery strikes possibly by regime forces against Turkish-backed forces— Michael Horowitz (@michaelh992) November 24, 2016
The Turkish Armed Forces, meanwhile, announced that at least 14 Islamic State targets were destroyed Thursday under Operation Euphrates Shield, launched by Turkey in late August to rid the northern Syrian border area of terrorists. Targets were located in the towns of Qabasin, Bzaa, Arima plus Al-Bab.
Over 215 residential areas, including more than 1,800 square kilometres (694 square miles) of land in northern Syria have so far been cleared of IS terrorists as part of the operation, which is now in its 93rd day.