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Moscow denies Ankara's accusations of using banned types of weapons in Syria

February 05, 2016, 20:59 UTC+3

Turkey’s information campaign against Russia could be used for preparing the Turkish population for Turkey’s active military involvement in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry says

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© AP Photo/Fernando Vergara, Archive

MOSCOW, February 5 /TASS/. Russia has denied the use of banned types of weapons during its military operation in Syria.

"The use of any banned types of weapons by the Russian warplanes is excluded," the ministry said adding Turkey’s information campaign against Russia could be used for preparing the Turkish population for Turkey’s active military involvement in Syria.

"This time, the situation with refugees from Syrian districts where Turkmen live compactly has become the subject of unfounded accusations," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"The materials that are being published assert categorically that refugees are moving towards the border with Turkey as a result of the Russian air task force’s actions. They say that the Russian aircraft are allegedly delivering strikes against civilian targets, using incendiary and cluster bombs," the statement said.

"These assertions have nothing to do with reality and are made in an extremely emotional tone," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"Some publications known for their ultra-nationalist rhetoric go as far as inadmissibly accusing our country of genocide," the statement said.

"All the air strikes which Russian warplanes are delivering in Syria are directed exclusively at militant facilities whose location is carefully checked and verified by the Baghdad information center, which, in turn, receives the information from the patriotically minded Syrian opposition and all types of intelligence existing in the Middle East region," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"In this context, we would like to recall that Russia has made numerous calls on the members of the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition to establish direct interaction between the defense ministries for quick exchange of information on targets subject to destruction in Syria and facilities where patriotic opposition units and civilians are sheltering," the ministry went on to say.

"However, for the reasons unknown to us our Western partners have not gone farther than creating a mechanism for the prevention of air incidents and apparently prefer to preserve an opportunity for themselves to spread speculations and allegations that Russian war planes bomb civilian targets," the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.

"Since Ankara has firmly embarked on the path of anti-Russian propaganda, we cannot rule out that Turkey’s snowballing information campaign is nothing else than an attempt to prepare the Turkish population for [Turkey’s] increased military activities in the territory of a sovereign Syrian state," the ministry said.

The Turkish authorities actively used the "Turkmen theme" rhetoric prior to shooting down a Russian bomber over Syria on November 24, 2015.

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