Turkey summons Russian envoy after soldier shot from Kurdish-held Syria

By REUTERS
March 23, 2017 11:44
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ANKARA, March 23 - Turkey summoned the Russian charge d'affaires to convey its unease after a Turkish soldier was killed by sniper fire from a part of Kurdish-held Syria where Russian forces are active, Turkey's foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

The Turkish military fired into the northwestern Syrian border region of Afrin on Wednesday, an area contolled by the Kurdish YPG militia, after the soldier was killed by cross-border fire. The YPG said Russian forces headed to the area.

Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu said Turkey expects Russia to respect its sensitivities and described pictures which circulated online of Russian soldiers with Kurdish militia fighters as "unpleasant." The charge d'affaires was summoned on Wednesday, he said.

At a briefing with journalists, he also said the inclusion of YPG fighters in the US-led operation to take Raqqa from Islamic State was unacceptable. Turkish forces were ready to take part in collaboration with the US-led coalition, he said.

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