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CSTO chief: Further escalation in Syria threatens security of post-Soviet military bloc

February 16, 15:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to CSTO chief, the statements of Ankara and Riyadh on plans to deploy ground operations in Syria threaten to switch the Syrian crisis to a qualitatively new and a very dangerous level
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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Conflict in Syria may grow into military confrontation between the Middle East countries putting the security of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member-states in jeopardy, the post-Soviet security alliance’s chief, Nikolay Bordyuzha said on Tuesday.

"Turkey’s massive artillery shelling of Syrian territory, the statements of Ankara and Riyadh on plans to deploy ground operations in Syria threaten to switch the Syrian crisis to a qualitatively new and a very dangerous level: the direct military confrontation between the regional countries," Bordyuzha said warning that it is difficult to predict the possible consequences.

The CSTO secretary-general stressed that in this context the fight against international terrorism and assistance to peaceful settlement in Syria is relegated to the back burner.

"Further instigation of hotbed of war in Syria’s territory in direct proximity from the zone of the CSTO’s responsibility is a threat to security of the organization’s member-states," Bordyuzha said.

The CSTO is a regional security group comprising six post-Soviet countries — Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia.

Russia has been conducting an operation against terrorists in Syria since September 30, 2015 at the request from Syrian President Bashar Assad. Moscow has stressed many times that Russia is not planning a ground operation in Syria.

Last week, Bordyuzha said the CSTO will not carry out any ground operation in Syria.

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