Russia-Turkey: a relationship turning sour

Russia warns Turkey over actions in Syria, US supports Turkey

Moscow/Ankara/Washington: Severe differences have developed between Turkey and Russia over the Syrian conflict. Turkish President Recep Erdogan recently issued a warning that a military campaign will be undertaken to drive the Assad government out of the Idlib province. Russia has issued a warning to Turkey in strong words, not to interfere in the Syrian conflict. Whereas, US President Donald Trump declared support for the Turkish action following a telephonic discussion with the Turkish President.

Since the last fortnight, Russian and Turkish leaders were discussing the action initiated by the Assad government in Idlib. Turkey had demanded that the Syrian military should be withdrawn from Idlib before the end of this month. But Russia announced that the talks had fallen through, dismissing the Turkish demand. Thereafter, while speaking in the Turkish parliament, President Erdogan announced the military campaign in Idlib.

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Turkey’s President Erdogan accuses Russia, says its managing war in Libya at the highest level

Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan levelled allegations against Russia saying that ‘Russia is responsible for the conflict against the Sarraj government in Libya. The country is fuelling the conflict in Libya.’ The Turkish President made the accusation against Russia while returning from his Pakistan visit. Russia has dismissed the allegations denying any involvement in the Libyan war. Furthermore, the Libyan rebels countered the claim and said that Turkey was supplying terrorists and arms to the Libyan government to gain control over Libya.

Turkey has said the relations with Russia were cordial although Erdogan’s allegations underscore the rising tensions between the two countries. Also, while talking to the journalists on board his flight from Pakistan to Turkey, Erdogan alleged that Russia was openly assisting the rebels against the Sarraj government in the Libyan conflict. Turkish news channel NTV carried the report of the allegations the Turkish President had levelled.

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Russian Ambassador to Turkey reports of receiving threats claiming, ‘We’ll make skyscrapers of skulls out of Russian Army’

Moscow: Alexei Yerkhov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, made a sensational claim of a threat issued by Turkey. The warning stated that ‘Russia will have to pay for every drop of blood it sheds of Turkish and Turkish-backed forces in Idlib. We will build towers with the heads of Russian soldiers.’ Yerkhov said that the threat to Russia was taken very seriously. Andrei Karlov, the former Russian Ambassador to Turkey, was assassinated in Ankara in 2015. Yerkov mentioned that the incident had sparked significant tensions between the two countries five years ago.

In an interview with the Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti, Ambassador Yerkhov compared the situation from five years ago with the present day. ‘Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet in November 2015, and after that, the then Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov was assassinated in the Turkish capital of Ankara.’ Yerkhov stated that Korlov’s assassin was chanting the slogan, ‘We will soon take over Aleppo’ underscoring that the situation today if compared, was not very different.

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800,000-plus people displaced from Idlib, Aleppo due to clashes between rebels & Russian-backed Syrian forces: UN

Damascus: The Syrian government and Russia are carrying out crushing attacks in the Aleppo province along with Idlib. The Syria-Russia campaign has been ongoing for almost two and a half months which the United Nations (UN) claimed has displaced nearly 800,000 people. Meanwhile, the Syrian rebels have claimed to have shot down two military helicopters of the Syrian government.

Terrorist organisations fighting against the Assad government in Syria, have bases in Idlib. Turkey is assisting the groups and is believed to have even deployed military in the region for the purpose. However, Idlib and Aleppo are considered as the decisive phase for the Assad government and Russia, which supports the government. The Assad government and Russia have thus undertaken a massive campaign to take over the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo from December.

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25 killed in Russian attacks in Idlib in Syria, informs Syrian human rights organisation

Damascus/Beirut: 25 people were killed in the attacks launched by Russia and the Syrian military, in the Idlib and Aleppo regions of Syria, over the last 24 hours. At the same time, Syria has captured the M5 highway and the Syrian soldiers are headed to the Taftanaz military base built by Turkey. Therefore, the possibility of a face-off between the Syrian and Turkish military in the near future has strengthened.

As per the information given by the Syrian human rights organisation, Syrian military and Russian fighter jets launched fierce attacks in the Idlib and Aleppo provinces of Syria, on Sunday night and Monday morning. The UK based human rights organisation alleged that it was the civilians, who were killed in the attacks in both Idlib and Aleppo. It also informed that 20 people were killed in the attacks on Idlib and Aleppo on Sunday night. At this time, nine people were killed in the Car nun area alone.

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Turkey instructs Syrian rebels to kill Russian soldiers in faceoff in Libya

Cairo/Damascus: ‘If you encounter Russian soldiers fighting for the Fayez al-Sarraj government in Libya, kill them,’ Turkey instructed his aides. According to a website report, Syrian rebels, who had entered into Libya and are working for Turkey as mercenaries, are said to have been instructed by Turkey. Turkey appears to be in a faceoff with Russia for the past few days over the conflict in Syria.

The pro-Turkey Syrian rebels that have entered into Libya gave the information to an investigative journalist during an interview. The interview revealed that the rebels are currently located in Syria’s Idlib. ‘As of now, an intense battle has not sparked off in Libya. Nevertheless, with Turkey’s forces and ammunition, a severe battle will soon begin where we will defeat Russia,’ vowed a pro-Turkish Syrian rebel.

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Turkish President warns Syria to stay away from Turkish military posts in Idlib

Ankara: Turkish President Recep Erdogan warned, ‘The Syrian military, who have laid siege on the Turkish military posts should retreat. Otherwise, Turkey will take over all the controls.’ The Turkish President has given a timeline of three weeks to the Syrian military. Meanwhile, the United States, the United Kingdom and France have demanded a meeting of the United Nations to discuss the situation in Idlib.

President Erdogan criticised the attacks by the Syrian military on the Turkish soldiers in Idlib. President Erdogan accused Assad government of violating the ceasefire in the Idlib region, by carrying out attacks on the Turkish soldiers. Turkey retaliated strongly against the Syrian action. But Erdogan said that he wanted to avoid any future conflicts. Turkish President informed that he has already held discussions with the Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the matter.

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76 soldiers killed in Turkish attacks in Syria, informs Turkish Defence Minister

Ankara/Washington/Damascus: Turkey has carried out airstrikes at 54 locations in Syria, and 76 soldiers have been killed in the attacks. Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has released this information. But the Syrian news channel has claimed that the Syrian military has not lost a single soldier in these attacks. While Russia is supporting the attacks by the Syrian military on Turkish soldiers, the United States has declared support for Turkey.

Since the last month, the Syrian military has opened a counter-terrorist campaign in the north-western region of Idlib. But Turkey is accusing the Syrian military and its supporter Russia of attacking Turkish soldiers and the Syrian rebel groups. Against this background, Turkey deployed its military for the security of its soldiers and its affiliated groups. But five Turkish soldiers were killed in an action taken by the Syrian military before the deployment on Monday morning.

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40 killed in an encounter between Syria and Turkey in Idlib

Damascus/Ankara: – After the Syrian military, initiated attacks on the Idlib province, Turkey, who had military deployment there, had issued a warning. But now the soldiers from both the countries are engaged in a fierce conflict in Idlib and 40 people have been killed. The Turkish President has given a furious reaction over this and has threatened that Syria will soon be made to realise its mistake. Erdogan claimed that the Turkish soldiers killed 35 Syrian soldiers. The Turkish President also warned Russia, who is helping the Syrian military, to keep away from the conflict.

Four Turkish soldiers were killed in the attack launched by the Syrian military, in Idlib, early in the morning on Monday. The Turkish defence ministry announced that 9 Turkish soldiers were injured in the attack and one of them is in a critical condition. Within a few hours of the Syrian attack, the Turkish military launched fierce attacks on the Syrian military engaged in action in the Idlib region. The Turkish military informed that this action was taken by the F-16 fighter jets which reached Syria only on Sunday, along with the Turkish military.

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Resurgent ISIS has double the terrorists as compared to 2014, warns Kurdistan PM Masrour Barzani

Irbil: Prime Minister Masrour Barzani of Iraq’s Kurdistan region warned that ‘Even though ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his associates were slain, the terrorist organisation is still powerful. Currently, the number of terrorists in the organisation has doubled as compared to six years ago, and the threat perceived from them terrorists has grown in the same extent. The reason behind it is that the organisation is preparing for a resurgence.’ Meanwhile, an Iraqi soldier was killed in a bomb blast the ISIS carried out in Iraq’s Diyala province.

In an interview to a US magazine, Barzani, the Prime Minister of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, reiterated his concerns regarding the growing influence of the ISIS. At the same time, Barzani appealed to the international community not to ignore its rising power in Syria and Iraq. ‘The ISIS doubled the strength of terrorists in comparison to when it began acquiring land in Syria and Iraq in 2014,’ Barzani added.

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