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Moscow accuses Turkey of trying to change ethnic configuration in northern Syria

January 14, 2016, 16:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Turkish special services are rendering support to the Turcoman armed groups in whose ranks extremist from Turkey are fighting, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson says

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Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. Turkey’s unconstructive line leads to further escalation in Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.

"Turkey is playing a hidden game by following its narrow opportunistic interests," Zakharova said. "It is enough to mention its connivance (in violation of UN Security Council resolutions) with smuggling oil through its territory, precisely ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - former name of Islamic State terrorist organization) oil, let alone Turkish authorities’ regular supply of weapons to different extremist groups in Syria, including clearly terrorist organizations and those affiliated with them," she noted.

"Ankara’s plans are obvious as it used the chaos in Syria and tried to change the ethnic configuration in the north of the country to its benefit under the pretext of fighting against ISIL. In the framework of this strategy, it is making steps with the aim of weakening one national group that is fighting against jihadists successfully and with dedication, and at the same time to strengthen another," Zakharova said.

She noted that "Turkish special services provide military and other types of support to Turkmen armed groups, including clearly extremist, nationalist elements and militant volunteers from Turkey."

"We condemn such destructive line that leads to further escalation in the region, call for constructive work in the framework of international efforts on ensuring the launch of an inclusive process of political settlement in Syria and making steps to fight against ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - former name of Islamic State terrorist organization) and other terrorist structures in the region," she added.



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