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Russia FM believes US-led coalition will prevent Turkey from invading Syria

February 10, 10:07 UTC+3
The Russian top official also noted that Turkey and the Islamic State are negotiating in secret, discussing new ways of smuggling
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Sergey Lavrov

Sergey Lavrov

© Oksans Toskic/TASS

MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. The US-led coalition will not let Turkey realize its plans of full-scale invasion of Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily on Wednesday.

"I don’t think it might ever happen. Minor provocations I have told about (construction of tent camps, preparations of engineering facilities some 100-200 meters into the Syrian territory and several kilometers along the frontline) are not a full-scale intrusion after all," he said.

"I don’t think the coalition led by the Americans and having Turkey as its member will let realize such crazy plans," he underscored.

The minister has noted the desire of a number of regional countries to solve the crisis in Syria through military means.

"At the Vienna meeting of the International Syria Support Group we and the United States were willing and actively offered to put in the documents, and then in the United Nations Security Council resolution one very simple phrase - the Syrian crisis has no military solution. The United States, Russia and the European states were in favor of this," Lavrov noted. "However, some American allies in the region decisively blocked the idea. So that [the military scenario - TASS] is quite possible. Now we hear statements about plans to send land forces," he added.

Bahrain denies Saudi Arabia words about supporting possible operation in Syria

According to the minister, Bahrain has denied thestatement of Saudi Arabia about its support for a possible ground operation in Syria.

"Saudi Arabia stated that for fighting the Islamic State (terrorist organization banned in Russia - TASS) they do not exclude involving troops of the so-called "Muslim antiterrorism coalition" that they have created," Lavrov said. "Some other countries started to say that they were willing to support this idea," he said.

"During the visit of His Majesty the King of Bahrain, the reports suddenly emerged about Bahrain supporting it," the Minister said. "But being in Russia, His Majesty the King of Bahrain and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country stated that it was not true and there were no such plans," Lavrov added.

Turkey and Islamic State in secret talks

 The Russian top official also noted that Turkey and the Islamic State are negotiating in secret, discussing new ways of smuggling.

"We are very worried about the messages that are constantly coming publicly and through private channels that Turkey specifically plans, or perhaps, already has begun claiming parts of the Syrian territory under the pretext of creating tent camps - accumulating the Syrian refugees, not allowing them to cross the Turkish border, where, according to them, the camps are already overcrowded," Lavrov said.

"Turkey keeps talking about creating a security zone in the Syrian territory, free from the Islamic State," he added. "Everyone understands that they are talking about the part of the border between the two Kurdish enclaves - combining the two forces Turkey considers absolutely unacceptable, not least because it would block Turkey's means of supplying fighters in Syria and receive their contraband supplies," Lavrov said.

"There are indications that the leadership of the Islamic State [terrorist organization banned in Russia - TASS] keeps secret contacts with Turkish officials," Lavrov said. "They are discussing alternative options in the current circumstances, when the strikes of our aerospace forces have seriously limited the possibilities of traditional smuggling routes," he added.

According Russia’s information, "Turkey has already discussed in the NATO their plans to create zones in Syria free from the Islamic State."

"This, of course, would violate all principles of the international law, as well as significantly and fundamentally build up escalation," Lavrov said.

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