Posted on September 1, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Kurdistan
Russian Foreign ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Photo: TASS
MOSCOW,— Russia called on Turkey to avoid strikes on Syrian opposition, ethnic groups, including Syrian Kurds, who fight the Islamic State (IS), Russian Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday.
“We are calling on Turkish partners for selective approach in choosing targets for the anti-terrorism operation and for avoiding strikes on the sites of deployment of opposition and ethnic groups, including Syrian Kurds also fighting against the Islamic State (terrorist group outlawed in Russia),” Zakahrova said.
Zakharova said Russia is keeping track of the Turkish army’s operation in northern Syria, and urges Ankara to cooperate with Damascus.
“We closely monitor the Turkish Armed Forces’ military operation in Syria. Certainly, we share the Turkish Republic’s wish to struggle against the Islamic State (terrorist group outlawed in Russia) which is an embodiment of the international evil, but at the same time we would like to draw attention to the need for following international law and to coordinate all military operations in the territory of a sovereign state with the legitimate government of that country.”
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Wednesday Turkey will press on with its offensive in northern Syria until all threats are removed and the nation’s national security is guaranteed.
Turkey launched an unprecedented cross-border offensive into Syria, dubbed “Euphrates Shield,” on August 24, saying it was aimed at ridding the frontier of both IS group jihadists and prevent US-backed Kurdish forces from extending areas under their control and connecting Syrian Kurdistan’s Kobani and Hassaka in the east with Afrin canton in the west.
Ankara fears the emergence of an autonomous Kurdish region in Syrian would bolster the separatist ambitions of Turkey’s own Kurds.
Damascus condemned the operation saying it regarded such actions as an outright violation of Syria’s sovereignty.
Syrian Kurds have established three autonomous zones, or Cantons of Jazeera, Kobani and Afrin and a Kurdish government across Syrian Kurdistan (northern Syria) in 2013. On March 17, 2016 Syria’s Kurds declared a federal region in Syrian Kurdistan.