Russia blasts Turkey's 'provocative' shelling of Kurds in Syria

15th February 2016, Comments 0 comments

Russia said on Monday that Turkey's shelling of Kurdish and Syrian regime positions in the north of the country was a "provocative" action.

"Starting from February 13, Turkish artillery concentrated in border areas is carrying out massive strikes on Syrian towns recently freed from terrorists by regime forces and Kurdish militia," a statement by the Russian foreign ministry said.

"There have been many civilians killed and injured, infrastructure and residential houses destroyed," it said.

"Moscow expresses its most serious concern about aggressive actions by Turkish authorities against a neighbouring state," the statement said.

"We see it as overt support of international terrorism."

"Russia will support discussion of this issue in the UN Security council for a clear assessment of the provocative line pursued by Ankara, which is creating a threat to peace and security in the Middle East and beyond."

Turkey on Monday was shelling for the third day positions of Kurdish fighters, accused by Ankara of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party that has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.

Moscow has been carrying out a campaign to support the Syrian army's offensive since September and also has struck a tighter alliance with the Syrian Kurds who opened an office in Moscow last week.

Ankara has vowed to keep carrying out the strikes despite criticism from Western allies in the US-led coalition, with the spiralling disagreements making the prospects of a ceasefire set to start next month increasingly unlikely.

© 2016 AFP

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