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Kremlin gives no comment on operation in Syria's Afrin

January 23, 12:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On January 20, the Turkish General Staff declared the start of the operation against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units around Afrin

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MOSCOW, January 23. /TASS/. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on the Kurds’ statement about Russia due to the operation in Syria’s Afrin.

"I have nothing to add to what I said yesterday about the Turkish operation in Afrin," the Kremlin spokesman told reporters.

"We are closely monitoring the operation [around Syria’s Afrin,] and the Russian representatives are contacting both with the Syrian government and the Turkish government, including on this issue," Peskov said on Monday.

He stressed, "We still regard the principle of preserving Syria’s territorial integrity as the basic one." "We are closing monitoring the humanitarian aspects that are linked to the current situation regarding Afrin," the Kremlin spokesman noted.

Peskov did not answer the question about whether Moscow had been informed about the pending operation by Turkey’s armed forces beforehand.

On January 20, the Turkish General Staff declared the start of the operation dubbed "Operation Olive Branch" against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units around Afrin where about 1.5 mln Syrian Kurds are living. According to latest information, Turkish warplanes hit more than 170 targets in Afrin. Civilian casualties were reported.

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