Turkey’s military operation in Syria is unwise – Russia

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – A potential Turkish military operation against Syria’s north is unwise, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said on Wednesday.

Russia considers Turkey’s possible military operation in Syria unwise, RIA news agency cited Lavrentyev as saying.

The Turkish military operation “could escalate and destabilize the situation,” he added.

Lavrentyev also stressed that Moscow no longer considers Geneva a suitable place for talks between Syrians.

The Russian envoy arrived in the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan on Wednesday for talks with Turkey, Iran, the Syrian government and Syrian opposition.

On May 23, Erdogan announced taking steps to complete the so-called remained portions of the “safe zone” plan along Turkey’s southern border saying, “We will soon take new steps regarding the incomplete portions of the project we started on the 30 km deep safe zone we established along our southern border.” 

The Turkish “safe zone” is an area of 30-35 km (19-22 miles) deep into Syrian territory that Turkey started establishing in 2019 to house Syrian refugees in an area along its border with Syria, as well as to keep it free from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which it regards as terrorists.

On May 25, Turkey’s National Security Council said that Turkey’s “existing and future military operations along its southern borders were necessary for the country’s security.” In the meeting, Erdogan delivered a speech to the MPs of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and said, “Turkish military would continue to rid its neighbor of terrorists” refers to the SDF.

On June 1, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed his threats of launching a military operation on northern Syria, and specified his targets in the two Syrian cities of Manbij and Tel Rifaat, which include many Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).