The Turkish and Russian militaries are coordinating their respective air operations in Syria to avoid mishaps, the Turkish defense minister said on Friday.
Speaking at a signing ceremony on "Cyber Security Cooperation" in Ankara, Fikri Isik said the Syrian regime could eventually join the coordination arrangement.
"The necessary coordination has been made in Syria to ensure that the air elements of Turkey and those of the regime or Russia are not confronted," Isik said.On Thursday, the Turkish military announced that Turkey and Russia had signed an agreement, allowing the two countries to work in coordination for the safety of their military aviation in war-torn Syria.According to the army's statement, the Turkish General Staff said that the delegations from the two countries met in Moscow on Thursday."
The purpose of the deal is to specify the mechanisms for coordination and cooperation for flight safety of the Russian Aerospace Forces and Turkish Air Force during offensive against terrorist targets," the military said.
During his speech, Isik announced that the US-led coalition was also carrying out air attacks but added that this was "not enough".
"We expect the coalition to increase coordination and its air support. The Turkish public is very sensitive on this point," he said.
The announcement and the minister's comments came after Turkey and Russia negotiated a cease-fire between forces loyal to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and opposition groups. Talks aimed at a political solution to the six-year conflict are due to start in Kazakhstan later this month.