Turkey has introduced additional safety measures in order to prevent operational mishaps in Syria.
Ankara has started to conduct 24-hour patrols in the Syrian airspace, as well as instructed the country’s air force to perform flights in parallel with the Russian Aerospace Forces, in order to prevent operational mishaps in Syria, the Daily Hürriyet newspaper reported. The measures were taken after the incident with Russian fighter jets, whose airstrikes inadvertently killed three Turkish soldiers and wounded eleven others near al-Bab on February 9.
According to the newspaper, from now, Turkish pilots will fly in parallel with Russian warplanes in the Syrian airspace in order to avoid similar incidents. Daily Hürriyet also noted that many Russian fighter jets had to return to the Hmeymim airbase after the Turkish intervention in the aftermath of the incident, however, this measure was temporary and is no longer being implemented.
In addition, 24-hour patrols over the air space between the Turkish border and al-Bab city were launched in order to monitor the region and prevent similar inadvertent attacks that can be launched by air forces of other countries.
After the mistaken airstrike of the Russian Aerospace Forces on positions of the Turkish Army, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to increase military coordination during the operation in Syria.
“It has been agreed to increase coordination in the military field during operations against terrorists of the ISIS [the Islamic State] and other extremist organizations in Syria,” the Kremlin’s press service reported earlier this months.
After the incident, Putin also held a meeting of the Russian Security Council, during which he discussed with Council’s members the need for careful coordination of operations of the Russian and Turkish armed forces on the territory of Syria.
At the meeting, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported on a telephone conversation between the heads of the Russian and Turkish general staffs. According to the minister, the sides decided to urgently carry out work to improve the mechanism of coordination of joint actions to combat terrorists in Syria.