Russia and Turkey to pursue joint effort to drive al-Nusra Front from Aleppo

Russia and Turkey have agreed to pursue joint actions to drive the al-Nusra Front, also known as al-Qaeda in Syria, from the Syrian city of Aleppo, as stated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, RIA Novosti reported.

“Yesterday, I spoke with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. We discussed Aleppo. He said that bombing has ceased there for 22 hours. He expressed the wish that ‘al-Nusra’ would be ejected from the city. We have given the necessary instructions to colleagues and started to work towards this goal… we discussed how to drive ‘al-Nusra’ from Aleppo to provide peace for the residents of Aleppo, and we need to work together to do this,” Erdoğan said.

Washington has criticized Moscow for its military operations in Aleppo, saying Russian bombers do not distinguish between extremist organizations and moderate, U.S.-backed rebels, resulting in indiscriminate bombing of the city.

Russia and Turkey have attempted to normalize relations over the last several months, which had been soured after a Turkish F-16 fighter shot down a Russian Su-24 frontline bomber over the Syrian-Turkish border in November of last year. Since June, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan submitted a formal apology to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, relations between Ankara and Moscow have improved considerably.

  Russia, Turkey, Syrian Conflict, Putin, Erdoğan