Turkey summons Russia envoy over Syria bombing 'very close' to border

20th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Turkey summoned the Russian ambassador after Moscow's war planes carried out a heavy bombing raid inside Syrian territory "very close" to the Turkish border, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov was summoned to hear Turkey's concern over Russia's bombing of "civilian Turkmen villages... very close to the border" with Turkey, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Turkey has asked Russia to "immediately end its operation," it added.

Ankara also warned that bombing villages populated by the Turkmen minority in Syria could lead to "serious consequences," the ministry added.

Turkey conveyed its "warning and demand" also to Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy for the Middle East, Mikhail Bogdanov.

Turkish authorities have summoned the Russian ambassador several times since September 30 when Russian war planes started to carry out air raids in Syria.

Turkey has complained over Russian planes' incursion into Turkish air space and also warned Moscow against supplying arms and support for Syrian Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria.

The latest tensions come as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is set to visit Turkey next Wednesday.

The Istanbul meeting will focus on "comprehensive exchange of views on foreign policy issues with a priority on Syrian crisis," a Turkish official said.

With momentum growing in long-stalled efforts to find a peace deal for Syria after the Paris attacks, the two sides will be seeking to narrow their differences on the conflict.

Ankara supports rebels opposing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad but Moscow has refused to abandon the Syrian leader and its air campaign is widely seen as buttressing his regime.

© 2015 AFP

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