The US is following up its call for Turkey and the Kurds to stop escalating tensions, a call which led to a furious Turkish condemnation of the US, with a separate call for Turkey and Russia to also stop their war of words, and speak directly instead of just blasting each other in the press.
Turkey and Russia have seen their relationship get worse and worse since late November, when Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the border with Syria. Since then, the two sides have repeatedly warned one another over Syria.
Russian officials were extremely critical of this weekend’s Turkish attacks on north Syrian towns, recently recaptured by the Syrian military, insisting they were targeting civilian infrastructure. The Turkish government, for its part, blamed Russia for a strike on a border hospital, calling it a “war crime,” and also accused the Syrian Kurds of being “Russia’s instrument in Syria.”
Russia has backed the Kurds with air support to some extent in northern Syria, as has the United States. Turkey has similarly lashed the US for its support of the Kurds in the northeast, saying they are “terrorists” who have to be stopped from taking ISIS territory.
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