The Latest: Turkey, Russia discuss Aleppo
BEIRUT – The Latest on Syria (all times local):
Turkey's president says his Russian counterpart has asked for Turkey's assistance toward the removal of fighters from the extremist Fatah al-Sham Front, previously known as Nusra Front, from the embattled northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday he discussed Aleppo with Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday evening, before Russia announced a temporary halt to airstrikes.
"We gave the necessary orders to our friends," Erdogan said, adding that the leaders discussed an agreement to work together on "removing Nusra from Aleppo and ensuring calm for Aleppo residents on this front."
Erdogan also warned about the possibility of an influx of at least one million people to Turkey in the event of a population movement from Aleppo.
"We cannot pay this cost. Those who incite this must sit down with Turkey and talk," he said.
Russia's military says a U.S.-led coalition airstrike on a Syrian village in the province of Aleppo has killed six civilians.
The military's Reconciliation Center in Syria says Tuesday's strike on the village of Hassajek also wounded four people and destroyed two houses.
The center says Russian military surveillance means spotted two Belgian F-16 fighter jets over the area at the time of the strike. It noted that Russian and Syrian warplanes weren't flying over the area Tuesday.
Russia's Tass news agency reported from Brussels that the Belgian defense minister denied Belgian aircraft had struck the area.
Russia announced that Russian and Syrian warplanes halted their airstrikes on the besieged city of Aleppo, in preparation for a temporary pause in the military push that Moscow has announced for Thursday.