ASTANA, November 22. /TASS/. Russia calls on the Turkey for restraint to prevent further escalation in Syria, presidential envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev told reporters on Tuesday.
"We will call on our Turkish colleagues to show certain restraint in order to prevent an escalation of tension and not only in the northern and northeastern regions of Syria but through the entire country. We believe that we should continue working with all interested parties and we should try find some right solution, including on the so-called Kurdish issue," he said ahead of the start of the international meeting on the Syrian settlement in the Astana format.
The diplomat recalled that the Turkish air operation "Claw-Sword" was justified by Ankara by the recent terrorist attack in the center of Istanbul, which killed six people and injured more than 80. Then the suspect in the attack admitted to having links with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) banned in Turkey.
"Over the past few months, since the beginning of this year, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his intention to conduct an operation [in Syria], the Russian Federation has done everything possible to prevent this from happening, in order to at least prevent carrying out some kind of large-scale offensive army operation on the ground. The Russian Federation has managed to do this, and we hope that it will be possible to convince our Turkish partners to refrain from the excessive use of force on Syrian territory," Lavrentiev stressed.
Overnight on November 20, Turkey held air operation "Claw-Sword" in northern Iraq and Syria which involved over 50 aircraft and 20 drones. Strikes were delivered on deployment sites of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is outlawed in Turkey, and its Syrian offshoot, the National Defense Forces. The Turkish Defense Ministry said the operation was successful, noting that main bases and sites with dense concentrations of terrorists were eliminated.
On Monday, Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced that the Turkish armed forces had killed 184 terrorists in two days of air operation "Claw-Sword" in Syria and Iraq.
According to Turkish media reports, on Monday, Turkish F-16 fighter jets resumed strikes on Syrian regions after Turkish border towns came under fire from Syria.