Russia air strike 'accidentally' kills 3 Turkish troops in Syria
- Fight for Al-Bab -Both sides appeared keen to move on from the incident, as was the case when an off-duty Turkish policeman shot dead Russia's ambassador to Ankara Andrei Karlov on December 19 in a crime that shocked both countries. Then, Ankara allowed Russian investigators to work in Turkey and also gave the slain ambassador the honour of a ceremony on the tarmac of Ankara airport before his corpse was airlifted back to Russia. The Russian defence ministry said Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar had in a call "agreed on closer coordination of joint actions." Turkey had on August 24 began an unprecedented campaign inside Syria against IS and Kurdish militia which initially made rapid progress but has become mired in a deadly fight for the IS held town of Al-Bab since December.
- Revival in ties -Turkey and Russia have been on sharply opposing sides in the Syria conflict, with Moscow supporting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad but Ankara pushing for his ouster as the key to peace. Relations reached a dangerous low in November 2015 when Turkish warplanes shot down a Russian fighter jet over the Syrian border. But a normalisation deal was reached over the summer and the two sides have been working ever more closely over the Syrian conflict. They secured a deal to evacuate Syrians from Aleppo after the city was retaken by Assad backed by his Russian allies. The two sides have since backed a process in the Kazakh capital Astana to search for peace to end the almost six-year civil war in Syria. And Russian jets have on occasion carried out air strikes in Al-Bab in support of the operation. Separate operations by Turkey and Assad's forces, backed by Moscow, has trapped the jihadists inside Al-Bab which has been besieged since Monday when Syrian forces cut off a road leading into the town. There has been concerns of the risk of accidental contact in the busy skies above Syria although these have usually surrounded Turkey and Syrian regime forces. Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Wednesday Turkey had been coordinating with Russia to avoid any risk of contact with the Syrian regime forces.