Turkish warplanes launch airstrikes on Syrian city of al-Bab
Turkish warplanes have carried out a series of airstrikes on the Syrian city of al-Bab in yet another blatant act of aggression against the sovereignty of the Arab state.
According to the Turkish military, the airstrikes were conducted against targets in the city of al-Bab, located some 40 kilometers northeast of Aleppo, shortly before 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) on Friday.
The military claimed the attacks targeted Daesh.
The strikes are part of an ongoing incursion by Turkish military inside northern Syria.
On August 24, Turkish special forces, tanks and jets backed by warplanes from the US-led coalition launched their first coordinated offensive in Syria. On the same day, Damascus strongly denounced the intervention as a breach of its sovereignty.
Senior officials in Damascus have said that any side willing to fight terrorism on the Syrian territory should cooperate with the government and the Syrian army.
The latest strikes were carried out after three Turkish soldiers were killed in the area on Wednesday. Turkey on Thursday claimed that a suspected Syrian airstrike had killed the three.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Thursday that Ankara would retaliate against the Syrian army, which has not commented on the developments.
The accusation and the threat of retaliation against Syria came even as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-militant monitoring group, said the Turkish soldiers had been killed in an attack by Daesh.
Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based group, dismissed reports that it was an airstrike, saying that the soldiers were killed during an attack by Daesh in the rural area of al-Bab, near a village called Waqqah on Wednesday.
A fourth soldier reportedly died in clashes with Daesh in the city on Friday.
In its military incursion into Syria, the Turkish military is supporting militants, including the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), fighting to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Hundreds of Turkish troops are taking part in the operation, which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this week was pushing forward with the aim of capturing the Syrian city of al-Bab.
Turkish forces earlier in the year rolled into the Syrian border city of Jarablus under the declared aim of removing Daesh militants from the city. In September, the Turkish forces occupied the city, which they said Daesh had left without resistance.