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Moscow urges Turkey to avoid strikes on opposition

Moscow urges Turkey to avoid strikes on opposition

Russia

Russia has voiced concern over the actions of Turkey’s armed forces and fighters led by Ankara in northern Syria.
Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov spoke to his Turkish counterpart by telephone.

Moscow has urged Turkey to avoid strikes on opposition and ethnic groups, including Syrian Kurds, who are fighting ISIS.

That echoes the view of the US, Turkey’s NATO ally.

“We don’t believe tactical operations between members of the SDF and Turkish forces, or forces supported by Turkey, to be productive in terms of the fight against Daesh,” US State Department spokesman, John Kirby said.

Ankara though is defiant, summoning the US ambassador over his country’s stance and denying reports of a temporary truce with Syrian Kurdish forces seen by Ankara as terrorists.

A presidential spokesman insisted Turkey would continue striking Kurdish militia until they withdraw from the region where Turkish forces are fighting.

Turkey fears that, if Kurdish fighters control the entire area along its Syrian border, it could embolden Kurdish militants at home who have been fighting for decades to demand autonomy on Turkish soil.