Ukraine, Kiev: Yesterday, Turkish Prime Minister (PM) Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday accused Russia of acting as a terrorist organisation in Syria and vowed to deliver a robust response. Mr Davutoglu said through an official translator during a visit to Kiev, “If Russia continues behaving like a terrorist organisation and forcing civilians to flee, we will deliver an extremely decisive response”.
PM said, “Unfortunately, barbaric attacks on civilians are continuing in Syria and these attacks are being waged by both Russia and terrorist groups”. He added, “Russia and other terrorist organisations – first and foremost, the (militant) Islamist State (group) in Syria – are responsible for numerous crimes against humanity”.
Tensions between Russia and Turkey have soared over Moscow’s backing of Syrian President Bashar al Assad and Russia’s intense air campaign against what it claims are `terrorist’ targets in its allied Middle Eastern state. Turkey has long backed Mr Assad’s ouster and like other western nations accuses Russia of predominantly bombing Syrian rebel groups backed by Washington and its allies instead of the Islamic States (IS).
Mr Assad’s forces have most recently used Russian air support to move ever closer to the rebel stronghold of Aleppo in northern Syria. Prime Minister Davutoglu further slammed the Syrian peace talks that were halted after only a few days this month in Geneva as “diplomatic theatre” for which “the international community will ultimately bear responsibility”.