Turkish intervention in Syria risks Turkey-Russia war: Hollande

19th February 2016, Comments 0 comments

French President Francois Hollande on Friday said Ankara's escalating involvement in the Syrian conflict was creating a risk of war between Turkey and Russia.

"Turkey is involved in Syria... There, there is a risk of war," Hollande told France Inter radio. "That is why the (UN) Security Council is meeting," he added.

The Security Council is to hold an emergency meeting at 2000 GMT at Moscow's request, to address Turkey's proposal for ground forces to be deployed in Syria, the Russian foreign ministry said in Moscow.

Turkey has called for a joint ground operation in Syria with its international allies, insisting it is the only way to stop the country's five-year war.

Saudi Arabia, which along with Turkey is backing rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, has also said it would be ready to take part in an international force to be deployed in Syria.

Russia, which has been carrying out air strikes in support of Assad's forces since the end of September, has called on the Security Council to press Turkey to halt its shelling of Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

Ties between Turkey and Russia have broken down since Ankara downed one of Moscow's fighter jets along its border with Syria in November.

France has been one of the most hostile opponents of Assad, and following the jihadist attacks in Paris in November it has stepped up air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

Hollande told France Inter the strikes were effective and results could now be seen.

© 2016 AFP

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