Russia has accused Ankara of violating the agreements it had made with Kremlin to fight against the militants in the Idlib province of Syria. The comments were made after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had warned that his military would strike Russia-backed Syrian forces if another soldier gets hurt.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that the Turkish side are carrying out strikes on Syrian forces and taking aggressive action against Russia’s military facilities. He added that it was unacceptable to the Sochi agreements in which the two parties had agreed to create a de-militarised zone in Idlib.
Earlier, Kremlin had asked Turkey to stop attacks on Russian and Syrian regime forces in the embattled Idlib province and to uphold the past agreements. The comments were made after the rising tensions between Russia and Turkey following the confrontation that killed 13 Turkish soldiers in Idlib province last week.
Peskov told reporters that the implementation of agreements between Moscow and Ankara is the most important thing for Russia. He added that suppression of any terrorist activity directed against the Syrian armed forces and Russian military facilities are unacceptable. Russia’s relation with Turkey came under strain after Syria launched an offensive against rebel forces, displacing civilians and causing concerns for Ankara of the refugee influx.
Recently, the United States had warned Russia over its Syria policy and accused them of violating the terms of a de-confliction agreement by challenging US presence in northeastern Syria. James Jeffrey, US Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, said that the United States was very worried about the dangerous conflict and urged Russia to change its policies.
“We had a setback temporarily in Syria back in October with the Turkish incursion, but we’re back doing full operations with our local partner, the Syrian Democratic Forces,” said Jeffrey while speaking at an interactive online press briefing.
(With inputs from agencies)