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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Damascus condemns 'outrageous' Turkey campaign in Syria

Iran Press TV

Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:15AM

Damascus has denounced Turkish artillery shelling inside the Syria territory as an "outrageous violation" of international law, saying Ankara is targeting civilians in the Arab country.

In a Saturday statement released by the state-run SANA news agency, the Syrian government said Turkey is committing "crimes" against the Syrians by firing artillery shells in the northern province of Aleppo.

A number of civilians sustained injuries by the artillery fire in several areas across Aleppo, the statement added.

Over the past few days, Turkey has been shelling the positions of fighters of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and its affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) in the northern parts of Syria.

Ankara regards the YPG and PYD as allies of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.

Syrian Kurdish fighters have been fighting against the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.

Russia 'regrets' UN rejection

Russia expressed worries about Turkey's shelling and military campaign inside Syria, describing it as "unacceptable."

"The Kremlin is concerned by the growing tension on the Syrian-Turkish border," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a teleconference with journalists in Moscow.

Peskov further expressed regret over a decision by the United Nations Security Council on Friday to reject a Moscow-drafted resolution urging Ankara to stop military action against Syria.

The draft resolution urged the council to express "its grave alarm at the reports of military buildup and preparatory activities aimed at launching foreign ground intervention into the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic."

However, it was rejected by France, the US and Britain, three veto-wielding powers of the council which are staunchly opposed the Damascus government and support the militant groups operating in Syria.

Peskov further stressed that Moscow will continue providing assistance to the Syrian army in its battle against "terrorists" operating in the Arab country.

"Russia naturally continues with its consistent, transparent and clear line to provide stability in the fight with terrorism, to preserve the territorial integrity of the country (Syria) and the region," he added.

Russia launched its own anti-terror campaign in Syria last September upon a request from the Damascus government. The airstrikes have expedited the advances of Syrian forces against militants.

Turkey is among the main supporters of militants fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad. Ankara has also been accused on numerous occasions of being involved in illegal oil trade with Daesh.

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has claimed the lives of some 470,000 people and left 1.9 million injured, according to the Syrian Center for Policy Research.

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