The Kremlin warned Turkey on Tuesday to “destabilise” northern Syria as Ankara launched several air strikes against Kurdish fighters, a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the possibility of launching an operation of land in Syrian territory.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “We understand Turkey’s concerns regarding its security … but at the same time we ask all parties to refrain from any initiative that could lead to a serious destabilization of the overall situation.”
This happens while i media Turks have quoted Erdogan as saying that Turkish military operations in northern Syria and in Iraq are not limited to an air campaign and that discussions will be held on the participation of ground forces.
Today Turkey invited its allies, the United States in head, to “stop all support” for the People’s Protection Units, which is the main Kurdish faction in Syria and Ankara consider it a “terrorist” while Washington supports it in the fight against ISIS.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said: “We assure all our interlocutors, and in particular to the United States, which the People’s Protection Units are equivalent to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey and its Western allies classify as terrorists, and we strongly demand that they stop all support for terrorists.”
For its part, the United States today called for a “de-escalation” in Syria, in response to statements by Erdogan, who on Monday threatened to carry out a ground operation in the north of the country after a series of air raids on Kurdish sites in Syria and Iraq, and rocket attacks on Turkish territory from Syrian territory.
Ankara accuses the PKK and People’s Protection Units of being behind an attack that killed six people and injured 81 on Nov. 13 in Istanbul, which they deny.
On Sunday, the Turkish Air Force carried out Operation Sword Claw by launching a series of raids against the PKK and People’s Protection Units in northern Iraq and in Syria.
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