Turkish F-16 warplanes were put on emergency standby Thursday after Ankara accused the Syrian government of having carried out an airstrike on Turkish troops operating in northern Syria that left three soldiers dead and 10 others wounded, one critically.
Western diplomats expressed concern the airstrike overnight Wednesday by a Syrian air force L-39 Albatros light-attack warplane marks a highly dangerous turn of events in the five-year-long Syria conflict and risks bringing Syria and Turkey into a major clash.
Initially, the death of the soldiers near the town of al-Bab, northeast of Aleppo, was blamed on the Islamic State (IS) terror group. But in a statement Thursday the Turkish military said the Syrian air force was responsible. The bodies of the killed soldiers were transferred to the southern Turkish border town of Kilis.
“In the air strike assessed to have been by Syrian regime forces, three of our heroic …