Russia Echoes US Call for Turkey to Stop Attacking Syrian Kurds

Foreign Ministry: Turkey Should Avoid Strikes on Anyone Fighting ISIS

by Jason Ditz, August 31, 2016

Echoing similar comments from top US officials, the Russian Foreign Ministry today called on the Turkish military to stop all attacks on Syria’s Kurdish YPG, as well as on any other factions which are currently involved in fighting against ISIS.

The US had similarly admonished the Turkish forces, which invaded northern Syria last week, on the matter, insisting that the focus in the area should be exclusively on fighting ISIS, and not on the anti-ISIS factions fighting against one another.

Turkey loudly objected to this at the time, however, insisting that no country has a right to tell them which terrorist groups they can attack and which they can’t. Turkish officials have repeatedly insisted they view ISIS and the YPG as equal problems.

Like the US, Russia has been keen to support the Kurdish YPG in the past in fights against Islamist rebel factions, particularly ISIS. Unlike the US, this has largely not been restricted to areas Turkey finds acceptable, and while Russia and Turkey have just recently had a rapprochement with one another, Russia likely doesn’t feel as obliged to keep them placated as the US does.

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