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Russia urges Turkey to avoid strikes on Syrian Kurds — diplomat

August 31, 2016, 15:24 UTC+3

The Russian Foreign Ministry urges coordination of the military operation with the Syrian authorities

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Russian Foreign ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. Russia is keeping track of the Turkish army's operation in northern Syria, and urges Ankara to cooperate with Damascus, Russian Foreign ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday.

"We closely monitor the Turkish Armed Forces’ military operation in Syria. Certainly, we share the Turkish Republic’s wish to struggle against the Islamic State (terrorist group outlawed in Russia) which is an embodiment of the international evil, but at the same time we would like to draw attention to the need for following international law and to coordinate all military operations in the territory of a sovereign state with the legitimate government of that country."

"We are calling on Turkish partners for selective approach in choosing targets for the anti-terrorism operation and for avoiding strikes on the sites of deployment of opposition and ethnic groups, including Syrian Kurds also fighting against the Islamic State (terrorist group outlawed in Russia)," Zakahrova said.

She pointed out that currently "the most important task is to present a common front with all parties concerned and to fight against the terrorist threat."

Ankara declared on August 24 that the Turkish army had begun an operation into the territory of neighboring Syria. Turkish armor and ground troops, including commando units, in cooperation with the allied armed groups of the Syrian opposition crossed the border into Syria. Ankara said the purpose of its military operation is the struggle against the Islamic State terrorist group and Kurdish militias.

Damascus condemned the operation saying it regarded such actions as an outright violation of Syria’s sovereignty.

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