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    Tanks stationed at a Turkish army position near the Oncupinar crossing gate close to the town of Kilis, south central Turkey, fire towards the Syria border, on February 16, 2016

    Russian MoD Calls on Amnesty Int'l to Investigate Turkey's Attacks on Syria

    © AFP 2019 / BULENT KILIC
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    Turkish military continues to shell Syrian settlments across the border, Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

    "Turkey is continuing to fire heavy artillery shells at Syrian villages near the border," Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

    The Russian Defense Ministry called on Amnesty International to assess the situation on the Turkish-Syrian border.

    "Turkish heavy artillery is shelling settlements on the border. Instead of making groundless allegations that [Russia] is carrying out haphazard airstrikes, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Doctors Without Borders should make a formal assessment of the Turkish Armed Forces' criminal actions," said Konashenkov.

    According to the spokesman, the fact that Western media and human rights organizations are turning a blind eye to this situation is "surprising, to say the least."

    Earlier, Konashenkov said that the Russian Defense Ministry has new evidence of Turkey shelling Syrian settlements accross the border.

    On February 13, Turkish artillery began shelling positions held by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish group with links to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), in Syria's Aleppo Province.

    In response to criticism over Turkey's unilateral and illegitimate cross-border shelling of northern Syria, Recep Erdogan claimed that "nobody can limit Turkey in using its legitimate right of self-defense."

    Turkey believes that the Kurds in Syria have ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group considered a terrorist organization by Ankara, which fights for Kurdish independence from Turkey.

    Related:

    State Department Reaffirms Call for Turkey to Stop Shelling Kurds
    Kremlin: Shelling of Syrian Territory by Turkey 'Unacceptable'
    Turkey Continues Shelling of Northern Syria
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    shelling, Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, Turkey, Syria
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