We reproduce a comment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Turkey’s use of armed forces in the northwest of Syria:
According to incoming reports, on January 20, Turkey began using its army in the area of Afrin in the northwest of Syria. The Turkish General Staff announced that the Turkish military shelled Syrian Kurds’ positions in response to provocative shelling by the militants of the Democratic Union, a Syrian Kurdish party.
This information was received with concern in Moscow. We are closely monitoring the development of the situation.
Russia holds a consistent stand on the search for solutions in Syria based on preserving Syria’s territorial integrity, respect for its sovereignty and pursuing a long-term political settlement in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and the agreements on de-escalation zones reached within the Astana process. In this connection we urge the opposing sides to show mutual restraint.
After the defeat of the military political stronghold of international terrorism in the form of ISIS and the withdrawal of a considerable part of Russian troops from Syria, the major objective of the remaining Russian military in that country is currently to ensure the ceasefire in the de-escalation zones.
Source: Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs / RedGlobe