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Russia criticises Turkey’s military operation in Syria for first time

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Moscow: Russia criticised for the first time the Turkish military operation in Syria, joined by militias opposing the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that Moscow has “grave concern about the advance of the Turkish troops and armed groups of the Syrian opposition it supports further into Syrian territory”.

The note stressed that “these actions are not being coordinated with the legitimate Syrian government and are undertaken without approval of the UN Security Council”, EFE news reported.

The Foreign Ministry pointed out that these operations “undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic. Taking this into account, the position adopted by Damascus seems justified and valid in terms of international law”.

Moscow urged Ankara to refrain from taking steps that could “further destabilise” the Arab country.

Russia believes that Turkey’s actions “could further complicate an already challenging military and political situation in Syria and negatively affect international efforts to devise a settlement platform that would ensure a more sustainable ceasefire”.

Russia’s criticism of Turkish military actions came for the first time, although Moscow and Ankara have recently started a process to normalise their bilateral relations, including the resumption of cooperation to fight terrorism.

–IANS

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