Turkey accuses Russian jets of bombing civilians in Syria

Ankara, Feb 16 (IANS) Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday identified Russian airstrikes in Syria as “dishonourable”, claiming that the bombing does not target Islamic State (IS) terror group but the opposition groups which are fighting the Syrian regime.

Claiming that “dishonourable Russian planes” have launched almost 8,000 sorties in a bid to seal the corridor to Aleppo province of Syria, Davutoglu said those jets are responsible for killing Syrian civilians in bombing raids on hospitals and schools in Syria, Xinhua reported citing the prime minister.

“Russia is bombing hospitals and schools. And then it is referring Turkey to the UN Security Council to take measures for its border security,” Davutoglu said.

The Turkish prime minister also said the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the armed forces of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) of Syrian Kurds, will not be allowed to advance on Azez town in the neighbouring country, declaring it a red line for Turkey.

“We will do what is necessary if they bid to advance,” he said.

Turkish military hit targets of the PYD several times since last week, as Turkey considers the group affiliated to the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).

Russia and Syrian regime uses PYD to change demography of Aleppo, forcing thousands of people to flee their hometown, Davutoglu said.

Russia and Syrian regime aim to close corridor to Aleppo before a ceasefire, he said referring a truce planned for early March.

Turkish officials said their shelling comes in retaliation to fire from the Kurdish fighters’ positions against Turkey, a claim totally denied by the Syrian Kurds.

Turkish officials have repeatedly said they will not allow the Kurds in Syria to expand more near the Turkish border.