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Kremlin says Russia, Turkey maintain contacts on operation in Syria

The Kremlin spokesman recalled that Putin and Erdogan and the the two countries’ top diplomats had held phone calls recently
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

RIYADH, October 14. /TASS/. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has confirmed that Russia and Turkey maintain contacts on Ankara’s military operation in northern Syria.

"The Russian and Turkish authorities have maintained contacts [on the issue]," he told reporters on Monday. The Kremlin spokesman recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as the two countries’ top diplomats, had held phone calls recently.

"There are also communication channels between the military," Peskov noted without providing more details about the agreements between the parties.

"I have nothing to add," he said, declining to comment on reports on negotiations between Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Kurds.

He stressed, however, that there was nothing new in Moscow’s approach to that issue. "At the very beginning of that operation, Russia noted at various levels that any actions that could hinder the political settlement process in Syria and provoke tensions in the country were highly undesirable," he stressed, adding that "this stance has remained unchanged, it is consistent and well known."

"We do not even want to think about such an option," Peskov said when asked whether Russia could be drawn into a military conflict with Turkey. He also noted that there were communication channels between the military to prevent conflicts.

On October 9, Ankara announced the launch of a new military campaign in northern Syria dubbed Operation Peace Spring, which began with airstrikes on the positions of Kurdish units. Its objective is to create a buffer zone in northern Syria where Syrian refugees could return from Turkey, the Erdogan regime believes. Syria’s SANA news agency branded the operation as an act of aggression, while the global community condemned Ankara’s actions.