Russia and Turkey exchange accusations on interventions in Syria

Ahmed Abbas
3 Min Read
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (AFP File Photo)


Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday that Turkey will not allow the city of A’azaz northern Syria to fall into the hands of Kurdish protection units.

He told journalists that the city of A’azaz would currently be in the control of the Kurds if Turkish artillery forces had not shelled the Kurish-held airbase in Aleppo over the weekend.

“YPG elements were forced away from the area surrounding A’azaz. If they approach again, our response will be unforgiving. We will not allow A’azaz to fall,” Davutoglu said.

According to Davutoglu, Ankara will render Menagh air base unstable if Kurds approach it again. He however denied that any Turkish forces had entered Syria.

Fourteen people were killed by missiles targeting the city of A’azaz Monday. The Turkish PM claimed the attack was by Russian forces.

Meanwhile Russia will raise an inquiry at the UN Security Council regarding Turkish actions in Syria, according to the Russian ministry of foreign affairs. “Moscow expresses the most serious concern over the Turkish authorities’ aggressive actions towards its neighbouring state,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

According to the Russian statement, Turkey is aiding the entry of new terrorist groups into Syria.

According to incoming information, the Turkish side continues to assist the illegal entry of fresh groups of jihadists and mercenaries with arms into the territory of Syria to replenish Jabhat al-Nusra and “Islamic State” (IS) units, as well as other battle-weary terrorist groups,” the ministry’s statement read.

The world powers agreed in Munich on a plan to relieve the humanitarian situation in Syria. Western powers are accusing Russia of exaggerating the situation in Syria to help their ally, Bashar Al-Assad, however Russia insists it is fighting terrorism.

Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev said Russian troops will not be in Syria forever. “We don’t have plans for staying in Syria forever, we are there for a definite aim,” Medvedev said in an interview with Time magazine.

Russian deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov said to local media that Russia started a military operation in Syria as it could no longer handle the inaction of the US-led coalition. “We entered Syria and started aviation operations there because it was impossible to put up with the inaction of the US-led coalition any longer,” he said.

EU foreign policy head Federica Mogherini said Monday there is no dispute with Russia since they agreed on a ceasefire in Syria during their participation in the Munich conference. “I have not seen a climate resembling that of the Cold War in these past days,” Mogherini said and that all parties involved in Syria must stick to their commitment.

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Ahmed Abbas is a journalist at DNE’s politics section. He previously worked as Egypt based reporter for, and interned as a broadcast journalist at Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin. Abbas is a fellow of Salzburg Academy of Media and Global Change. He holds a Master’s Degree of Journalism and New Media from Jordan Media Institute. He was awarded by the ICFJ for best public service reporting in 2013, and by the German foreign office for best feature in 2014.
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