World Bulletin / News Desk
The Kremlin said Thursday Russia's military operation in Syria helped stabilize and secure Turkish borders, according to Russian news agency Sputnik.
Russia began flying combat missions over Syria on Sept. 30 following an escalation in its military support for President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Despite Russia claiming to be targeting ISIL, the U.S. and its allies have complained about Russian airstrikes on “moderate” forces fighting Assad.
"Russia's actions in Syria are intended to contribute to preserving the territorial and political integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, thereby contributing to the stability and security in the region, which, in turn, borders the Republic of Turkey. In this regard, Russia, of course, contributes to more stability and more security near Turkey's borders," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as telling reporters in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The statement comes days after a Russian warplane violated Turkish airspace on its border with Syria over the weekend. Moscow indicated Monday that its fighter jet violated Turkish air space due to "bad weather conditions".
Peskov also reportedly said that the U.S.-led coalition's operations in Syria, which have been going on for more than a year have not weakened ISIL, but on the contrary allowed the militant group to expand its territory "multifold", destabilizing the situation in the region.
“Instead of diminishing the territory that was under the control of [ISIL] and other terrorist organizations, quite the opposite happened over the last year and the territory has increased multifold, which has destabilized the situation in Syria itself, as well as threatening the Republic of Turkey,” Peskov said.
"We attach great value to our relations with Turkey. It is our sincere hope that our relations develop in line with the plans set by the leaders of both countries," Peskov added.
On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Moscow of losing Turkey as a "friend". “We could buy the natural gas from somewhere else if need be," he said.Last Mod: 08 Ekim 2015, 16:42