After series of raids, Russia calls on Turkey for ‘restraint’ in Syria

Russia said on Tuesday it hoped Turkey would show “restraint” and refrain from “any excessive use of force” in Syria, where Ankara is carrying out airstrikes. “We hope to convince our Turkish colleagues to refrain from resorting to excessive use of force on Syrian territory” to “avoid the escalation of tensions”, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy Alexander Lavrentiev told the press. Syria, in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, where a tripartite meeting between Russia, Turkey and Iran is to be held on Syria.

Read also: “We will do everything to defend our people”: Syrian Kurdistan prepares for a major attack

The Turkish Air Force on Sunday launched Operation “Sword Claw”, a series of raids that targeted PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and YPG (People’s Protection Units) positions in northern Turkey. Iraq and Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Monday to launch a ground operation in Syria after this series of air raids. “There is no question that this operation is only limited to an air operation”, declared the Turkish head of state to the journalists who accompanied him on his return from Qatar.

“Prevent any large-scale ground operations”

Since May, he has been threatening to launch a new military operation in northern Syria, and the attack that took place on November 13 in Istanbul, immediately attributed by Ankara to Kurdish fighters from the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and the YPG ( People’s Protection Units), precipitated events.

“Russia has for months (…) done everything possible to prevent any large-scale land operation,” said Alexander Lavrentiev in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, where a tripartite meeting between Russia, the Turkey and Iran over Syria. These three countries are major players in the war in Syria, which has claimed nearly half a million lives since 2011.

Alexander Lavrentiev called for “continuation of work with all stakeholders to find a peaceful solution, including on the Kurdish question”.

Between 2016 and 2019, Turkey carried out three major operations in northern Syria against Kurdish militias and organizations. Ankara repeats wanting to create a 30 km wide “security zone” along its southern border.

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