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Moscow voices profound concern over Turkish troops’ movement into Syrian territory

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the movement puts in question Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity

MOSCOW, September 7. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry has voiced profound concern over the Turkish troops’ movement into Syrian territory.

"Russia’s Foreign Ministry expresses serious concern in connection with the movement of the Syrian troops and paramilitary formations of the Syrian opposition, supported by them, inside Syrian territory," the ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

"We are paying attention to the fact that these actions are being conducted without coordination with the legitimate Syrian authorities and without approval on the part of the UN Security Council," it said.

"This puts in question the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic," the statement said.

"With account for that, the position of Damascus appears fair and justified from the international-legal viewpoint," it said.

"We are proceeding from the fact that Turkey’s actions may additionally complicate the already difficult military-political situation in Syria, negatively affect the international efforts to develop a platform of settlement ensuring a more stable nature of the regime of cessation of hostilities, uninterrupted delivery of humanitarian aid laying the foundation for a solid peace and helping overcome the crisis in that country," the ministry said.

Moscow called on Ankara to "place these tasks higher that the immediate military tactical goals and abstain from steps fraught with further destabilization of the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic."

Turkey started Operation Euphrates Shield on August 24 and deployed to Syria near the city of Jarabulus armor and special forces units. The republic’s army renders support to the forces of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the fight against the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) and other extremist organizations in northern Syria. The FSA took control of Jarabulus, just like more than ten local villages where IS militants settled.

Turkey’s Armed Forces and the FSA currently control the 90-kilometer line along the border between the cities of Azaz and Jarabulus up to 4-5 kilometers deep. But the operation command’s plans include expansion of the zone liberated from the IS further to the south.