Syrian rebels and Turkish troops enter ISIL-held Al Bab

Russia mistakenly kills 3 Turkish troops in Syria

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lauded the advance of Turkish troops into northern Syria in what he called a drive to cleanse a 3,000-square-mile swath of territory of militants and Kurdish fighters. Though not officially confirmed, the reports raised doubts that the Russian airstrike could be a response to the clash between Syrian and Turkish troops.

"Moreover, control has been regained over the road to Raqqa, along which ISIS military groups in the town of Al-Bab have been supplied with weapons and ammunition", the Russian defense ministry said.

In a relevant development on Thursday, the Syrian Army troops continued their advances against ISIL in the Eastern parts Aleppo, driving terrorists out of another town and several more farms near the town of al-Bab.

Russia immediately apologized for the bombing near the Islamic State-held town of al-Bab, which came amid warming ties between Turkey and Russia after they were strained by Turkey's downing of a Russian jet near the border with Syria two years ago.

In addition, 174 Daesh targets, including shelters, headquarters, defence positions and vehicles were destroyed by Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters with Turkish Land Forces' support.

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Turkey's presence in Syria is dubbed illegitimate by Damascus while Russia's presence has its blessing. Moscow said it was an accident and is being investigated.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitor, said rebels backed by heavy Turkish air strikes fought Islamic State north and southwest of al-Bab on Sunday.

And Russian warplanes (and belatedly US -led coalition jets) have targeted IS positions in al-Bab to assist the advancing Turkish forces.

The three injured soldiers were evacuated from Al-Bab and taken to hospitals in Turkey's Kilis and Gaziantep provinces near the Syrian border, Dogan reported. Syrian rebels and President Bashar Assad's government officials attended that gathering. Five Turkish soldiers were killed Thursday in firefights with Islamic State militants, while five others died in battles Wednesday, according to BBC News Thursday. The Russian airstrike coincided with a two-day visit to Ankara by new Central Intelligence Agency chief Michael Pompeo. The SDF has been earmarked by the its main ally for a quick offensive against IS-controlled Raqqa.