Friday, 22 January 2016

Terrorists in Syria’s Aleppo Got Reinforcements from Turkey: Russia

Local Editor

Russian Foreign MinistryTerrorists have increased their activities ahead of the next week’s inter-Syrian talks, with terrorists in the Syrian province of Aleppo receiving reinforcements from Turkey, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

The much-anticipated talks between the Syrian government and different opposition groups are scheduled to take place in the Swiss city of Geneva on January 25.

"Unfortunately, in recent days, it’s especially noticeable that ahead of the planned start of the inter-Syrian negotiations in Geneva the activities of terrorist groups have intensified. Obviously, they’re trying to turn the tide in their favor on the battlefield,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a briefing in Moscow.

According to Zakharova, attempts to launch counter-attacks against the government forces were performed by Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar ash-Sham groups, which “got serious reinforcements from Turkey.”

The increased activity of the terrorists was witnessed in several suburbs of Damascus, Homs and Idleb provinces of Syria, she added.

Russia will continue providing humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in Syria, Zakharova stressed.

She reiterated that Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has performed 30 flights “not only to Syria, but also to Lebanon and Jordan” in January, delivering 600 tons of food and essentials for those affected by the conflict.

Besides humanitarian assistance, “Russia has also been involved in evacuation of citizens who want to leave dangerous areas," she added.

Zakharova said that Moscow was “surprised” by recent comments from Washington, in which “representatives of the US State Department said that they don’t see Russia's efforts in regard to providing humanitarian aid to Syria.”

“This is very strange, especially since the State Department allegedly sees everything, including Russian tanks that are being flown in or crawling into the territory of other states, but there’s no humanitarian aid in sight,” she said.

Source: Agencies
21-01-2016 - 15:54 Last updated 21-01-2016 - 15:54 

Turkey Says ‘Watching Closely’ Russian Troop Movements on Syrian Border

Ankara said on Friday it is closely watching" Russian troop movements in Syria near its border, after reports that Russian servicemen had deployed in the Syrian border town of Qamishli.

"I can say that Turkey is closely watching every military movement on its borders and especially the border with Syria," a government source in Ankara told AFP on Friday, asking not to be named.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes said in parliament on Thursday that he did not see any threat in Russia's movements on the border.

Turkish soldiers on Syria border
"We are aware of Russia's movements. Russia's movements in Qamishli cannot constitute a threat for Turkey, which is a member of NATO."

But the Turkish army has already reinforced security by digging trenches in the border zone, the Hurriyet daily said. Top Russian military officials, including figures from the GRU military intelligence service, had already visited Qamishli, it added.

The remarks comes as the Britain-based monitor the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” had said that Russia had sent a number of engineers to Qamishli to strengthen the runway and increase the capacity of an airport just south of the town.

Russia's reported move into Qamishli comes as Ankara and Moscow are experiencing their biggest crisis in years over the shooting down of a Russian war plane by Turkey on November 24.

Qamishli lies just south of the Turkish border town of Nusaybin.

Source: AFP
22-01-2016 - 13:13 Last updated 22-01-2016 - 13:13

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