Russia urges Turkey to stop ‘supporting terrorists’ in Syria

Turkish soldiers fire a missile at Syrian government position in the province of Idlib on Feb. 14, 2020. (AP)

Moscow on Thursday urged Turkey to stop “supporting terrorists” in Syria, saying Russian planes had carried out air strikes against armed groups backed by Ankara.

“We urge the Turkish side, in order to avoid incidents, to cease support of the actions of terrorists and handing them arms,” the Russian defense ministry said in a statement.

Russia, which backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, accused Turkey of aiding opposition fighters battling government forces in the northwestern Idlib province by firing artillery as the opposition carried out an attack.

Moscow said that on Syria’s request its bombers carried out strikes on “terrorist armed formations,” allowing the Syrian forces to repel the attack.

Separately, Turkey said two of its soldiers had been killed in an air strike in Idlib, blaming the Syrian regime.

The Russian defense ministry said it told Ankara that it had spotted Turkish artillery firing on Syrian units, wounding four soldiers.

“We note this is not the first case of support for rebel fighters by Turkey,” the defense ministry said.

Russia on Wednesday warned Turkey against attacking Syrian forces after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to launch an operation in Syria’s Idlib region.

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Last Update: 15:42 KSA 18:42 - GMT 15:42
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