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Russia opposed to Syrian no-fly zone
February 18, 2016, 10:42 am

A publicly distributed picture from the Aleppo Media Centre shows rebel fighters evading government troops [AMC via AP]

A publicly distributed picture from the Aleppo Media Centre shows rebel fighters evading government troops [AMC via AP]

Moscow is against imposing a “no-fly zone” over Syria’s Aleppo because it would not aid the fight against terrorism, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.

“The fact of the matter is that there are intense activities being carried out there in the fight against terrorist organizations that are also hiding out in those regions so such regimes would hardly give any results in our fight against terrorism,” Peskov said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that it was Turkey that first put forward the idea of the no-fly zone and not Merkel.

“It was not a proposal by [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel, it was a Turkish initiative,” Lavrov said.

Germany plans to submit its proposal to create a no-fly zone over Syria to UN working groups in Geneva, the spokesman of the German Foreign Office said Wednesday.
Turkey has actively advocated for establishing a no-fly zone in northern Syria to US and NATO opposition. In November, US President Barack Obama said imposing a no-fly zone in Syria to improve the humanitarian situation in the region was counterproductive.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed out Washington’s reluctance on Wednesday.

“Oh America! You did not say ‘yes’ to ‘no-fly zone.’ Now the Russian planes are running wild over there, and thousands and tens of thousands of victims are dying,” Erdogan said. “Weren’t we coalition forces? Weren’t we to act together?”

German Chancellor Merkel has said a no-fly zone in Syria could be brought into force by an agreement between Syrian President Bashar Assad, his backers and the coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

Turkey’s president Erdogan has said he won’t halt the cross-border shelling of Kurdish positions in Syria, saying Ankara “has no such plans”.

Turkey has been shelling Kurdish Syrian forces since Saturday, saying it has been responding to provocations. The United States and others have called on Turkey to hold its fire.

The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday discussed Turkey’s shelling of targets in Syria at the request of Russia.

The international standoff over Syria has increased the risk of direct confrontation between Russia and NATO member Turkey. Relations between Moscow and Ankara deteriorated sharply after the Turkish military shot down a Russian warplane in November along the Turkish-Syrian border.


TBP and Agencies