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Russia says Turkish raids on Kurds ‘unacceptable’

Russia’s foreign ministry on Wednesday said Turkey’s bombing raids against Syrian Kurds were unacceptable and called on all sides to show restraint.

“Such steps provoke most serious concern in Moscow,” a ministry statement said of Tuesday’s strikes by the Turkish air force on Kurdish positions in northeastern Syria, which monitors said killed 28 while Turkey put the number at 70.

“These are actions by the Turkish military against Kurdish forces that truly oppose terrorist groups on the ground, first and foremost ISIL,” or the Islamic State group, the ministry said.

“We consider such actions unacceptable and going against the founding principles of international relations,” it added, calling “all sides to show restraint” and focus on fighting terrorism.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) estimated that the strikes killed 20 fighters and left 18 wounded.

Turkey, which backs Syrian rebel groups and which launched a ground operation in northern Syria last year, vowed to continue acting against groups it links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

Syria, which Russia supports in the conflict, on Wednesday condemned the strikes. The United States said it was “deeply concerned” that they were not coordinated with the anti-terrorist coalition fighting IS in Syria and Iraq.

Turkey said it had informed Russia and the US in advance.