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Russia Calls for Calm on Tense Turkish-Syria Border

Kader Kadem | 14:46 | 0 Comments
Russia Calls for Calm on Tense Turkish-Syria BorderRussian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov has urged restraint between Turkey and Syria, calling for calm on the tense Turkish-Syrian border.
“We believe both Syrian and Turkish authorities should exercise maximum restraint in this situation, taking into account the rising number of radicals among the Syrian opposition who can intentionally provoke conflicts on the border," said Gatilov on Tuesday.

Gatilov also warned NATO and world powers not to seek ways to intervene in the Syrian war or set up buffer zones between opposition and government forces.

“In our contacts with partners in NATO and in the region, we are calling on them not to seek pretexts for carrying out a military scenario or introducing initiatives such as humanitarian corridors or buffer zones," Gatilov said, according to the Interfax news agency.

Turkey has floated the idea of setting up "safe zones" inside Syria to protect civilians.

Ankara has repeatedly complained of artillery and gunfire spilling over its border, and last week signaled it would take action if there were a repeat of a mortar strike on its territory from inside Syria.

Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) deployed reinforcements to the Suruç district of the southeastern province of  Şanlıurfa, near the Syrian border, after mortar shelling from Syria landed in the district of Akçakale on Friday, damaging homes and workplaces.

The 20th Armored Brigade Command in Şanlıurfa transferred dozens of tanks and armored vehicles to the Syrian border after the mortar strike. Turkey issued a diplomatic note to Syria following the event.

“I would like the public to know that if such violations of our border continue we are reserving the right to take action. No worries on that. Turkey has the power to control all activities along its borders and to take necessary precautions," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, without going into greater detail.

Turkey beefed up its troop presence and air defense along its 900-kilometer border after Syria shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet in June.
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