Russia’s military said Wednesday it had conducted its first joint airstrikes with Turkey against the Islamic State terror group in Syria’s al-Bab. “Today, Russian and Turkish air forces are carrying out their first joint air operation against the Islamic State in the suburbs of Al Bab,” Lt. Gen. Sergei F. Rudskoi, a senior member of the Russian general staff, said in Moscow, The New York Times reported. The move may seem like a snub to the Obama administration, which has butted heads with Turkey over U.S. plans to arm Syrian Kurds in a bid to retake the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa. The U.S. military declined to actively participate in most of Turkey’s operations in al-Bab, prompting complaints from Ankara that the U.S. was withholding support. A meeting in Moscow in December saw Russian, Iranian, and Turkish officials gather to discuss Syria—but U.S. officials were left out. According to Rudskoi, a total of 36 targets were hit in the joint airstrikes Wednesday, using nine Russian aircraft and eight Turkish planes.
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