Conflicts & War

Russia believes Turkish plans for military operation in Syria “unreasonable”

Nursultan, Jun 15 (EFE).- Turkey’s plans to carry out a military operation against the Kurds in northern Syria “are not reasonable,” Russian special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev said Wednesday.

“Russia believes that the plans announced by (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan on launching an operation in northern Syria against Kurdish formations are unreasonable,” Lavrentiev said in Nur-Sultan, where the 18th round of ceasefire negotiations on Syria started Wednesday.

According to Lavrentiev, the move threatens to “escalate tensions” and further destabilize the situation in the Arab country.

The Russian envoy assured that Moscow will insist that Ankara drops the plans.

Lavrentiev argued that “the situation in Syria is becoming tense.”

“Many say that due to the Russian special operation in Ukraine, attention to Syria has waned. But the Syrian conflict remains one of the priorities for Russian foreign policy,” he said.

“Today we met in the Kazakh capital with Iranian and Turkish colleagues to once again address (…) how to make life easier for the Syrian people, who are going through difficult times,” he added.

As for the format of negotiations on a new Syrian Constitution taking place in Geneva, the Russian envoy raised a possible change of the venue

“It is quite difficult for the Russian delegation to work in Geneva, given the logistical difficulties (caused by sanctions) and the loss of Switzerland’s neutral status,” he said.

That is why, he added, Russia proposes “to choose another neutral venue for the next session of the constitutional committee.”

“We will address this issue with partners in the Astana format and with the office of the UN special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen. The important thing is that the new platform is responsive and satisfies all participants in the negotiation process,” Lavrentiev said.

Representatives of the Syrian authorities and the Syrian opposition are taking part in a new round of peace talks in the Kazakh capital on Wednesday and Thursday.

Delegations of the guarantor states for the ceasefire in the Arab country – Russia, Turkey and Iran – as well as observers from the UN, the Red Cross and a delegation from Jordan are also attending the meeting.

The new round comes at a time when Turkey is preparing for a new large-scale operation in northern Syria, where fighting has intensified between the Turkish Army and the Kurdish YPG (People’s Defense Units) militias.

Although the Turkish President has indicated that the general goal is to control a strip along the entire Turkish-Syrian border to prevent attacks, he later specified that the objective of the next intervention would be two areas north and northeast of Aleppo, Manbech and Tel Rifaat.

The government of Syrian President Bachar al-Assad warned that Turkey’s plans are a threat to peace and undermine all previous agreements that had allowed the implementation of de-escalation and security zones in northeastern Syria through agreements in 2018 and 2019 between Russia and Turkey in Sochi. EFE



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