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Putin envoy sought to dissuade Turkey from invading Syria
Vladimir Putin's envoy to Syria has made it clear that the Kremlin has no intention of turning a blind eye to Turkish and Israeli aggressions against Damascus
By News Desk - June 16 2022
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(Photo credit: AFP)

Russian officials made attempts to discourage Turkey from launching its new military offensive in northern Syria, according to Vladimir Putin’s special envoy to Syria.

“We [Russia] tried to persuade them [Turkey] of the need for a peaceful settlement without the use of force, because that could cause an escalation,” Russia’s Special Presidential Envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev, said on 16 June.

The Russian envoy made the plea during talks with Turkish officials in Kazakhstan.

A day earlier, Lavrentyev made it clear that Moscow will not turn a blind eye to Turkish military incursions on Syrian soil in exchange for Ankara blocking the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO.

The Russian envoy stated on 15 June that Turkish military operations in Syria would be “an unreasonable step that could lead to destabilization of the situation, escalation of tensions, and a new round of armed confrontation in the country.”

Lavrentyev firmly indicated that Russia would not abandon its allies in the region.

Ankara initiated a new military campaign in Syria on 25 May against several villages in the northwestern countryside of Hasakah governorate and the city of Afrin.

The campaign targeted Kurdish militias, including the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation will resume efforts to establish a 30-kilometer long “safe zone” along Turkey’s southern borders.

Turkey currently controls 10 percent of Syria’s territory, where 4.4 million people live.

The Russian envoy to Syria also denounced the recent Israeli aerial attack that crippled Damascus International Airport.

“We will certainly consider the issue of intensified shelling of Syrian territory by Israel. We think that we will also need to focus on this. It is unacceptable,” he said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova conveyed Moscow’s condemnation of the attack, and demanded that Israel “stop these evil practices.”

“Russia reiterates that Israel’s consistent aggression on the territories of the Syrian Arab Republic is a violation of the basic rules of the international law,” the Russian official said. “Such irresponsible actions pose grave threats to international air transport and puts innocent souls at risk.”

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