Russia ‘Gravely Concerned’ About Turkish Advance in Syria

© Sputnik / Maksim Blinov / Go to the photo bankAerial view of the Foreign Ministry building in Moscow
Aerial view of the Foreign Ministry building in Moscow - Sputnik International
The Foreign Ministry of Russia on Wednesday expressed “grave concern” regarding the movement of Turkish troops and Ankara-backed Syrian opposition groups on Syrian territory, emphasizing that the actions have not been approved by the legitimate Syrian government or the UN Security Council.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has stated that the Turkish incursion undermines the "sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic."

The Russian Foreign Ministry has stated that Turkish actions "could further complicate an already challenging military and political situation in Syria and negatively affect international efforts to devise a settlement platform that would ensure a more sustainable ceasefire, uninterrupted humanitarian access and would provide a solid foundation for conciliation and overcoming the crisis in this country.

"Russia calls on Ankara to put these objectives above immediate military and tactical aims and refrain from steps that could further destabilise the Syrian Arab Republic."

Turkey launched its "Euphrates Shield" operation on August 24 in Syria. It has so far resulted in the seizure of a 56-mile corridor within Syria near the Turkish border, between the cities of Azaz and Jarabulus. Turkey plans further expansion of the zone.

According to political analyst Alexander Mercouris, who spoke on Wednesday to Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear host Brian Becker, Turkey is attempting to create a safe zone in northeastern Syria to serve as a base for jihadi groups supported by Washington and Ankara. The US has supplied Turkey with military hardware to carry out the operation. Mercouris observed that Russia and the US have radically different views on the future of Syria.

Turkish army tanks make their way towards the Syrian border town of Jarablus, Syria August 24, 2016. Picture taken August 24, 2016. - Sputnik International
Turkey's Operation in Syria: 'Benefits Both Russia, US'
Political analyst Mark Sleboda added that the US continues to demand regime change in Syria, while the Russian position supports the current government.

US President Barack Obama said "gaps of trust" continue to prevent the US and Russia from reaching a ceasefire agreement on Syria, following a meeting between the two sides at the G20 summit in China.

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