Turkish FM: Russia targets civilians, not Daesh, in Syria
'Russia violated the truce in Syria more than any other country,' says Cavusoglu
Despite being the co-chair of the International Syria Support Group, Russia has breached the truce in Syria more than any other country, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday.
The minister’s remarks came during a joint press conference following a trilateral meeting with his Polish and Romanian counterparts in the capital, Warsaw.
“It is meaningful that Russia violated the truce in Syria more than any other country, even though it is the co-chair of the International Syria Support Group,” Cavusoglu said, adding that Russia had failed to fight against Daesh, targeting civilians and moderate opposition groups instead.
"It [Russia] keeps targeting schools, hospitals, and civilians. It is not targeting Daesh. This is the real problem,” Cavusoglu said.
“Their purpose is to keep oppressive regimes, and strengthen their own presence,” he added.
The Turkish minister also reiterated the need to come up with a joint definition of terror, and a result-oriented strategy to defeat it, warning once more against appealing to other terrorist groups for help.
“How can you fight any terrorist group with such a mindset? First of all, we need to stop distinguishing between good and bad terrorists. We need to confront all kinds of terror regardless of where it comes from or whom it targets,” he said.
According to Syrian civil defense officials, regime forces and Russian warplanes have intensified attacks on opposition-held areas in Syria, killing scores of civilians since the April cease-fire.
The latest Russian airstrikes on Wednesday killed two children in northern Syria, according to local sources.
Russian warplanes struck the city of Maaret al-Numan to the south of Idlib province with cluster munitions, the sources told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to concerns for their safety.
“Two children were killed in the attack,” the sources said.
Fighter jets also attacked the villages of Kafr Hamra and Hraytan in Aleppo province with phosphorous bombs, leaving several people injured, according to the sources.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the regime of Bashar al-Assad cracked down on pro-democracy protests.
According to the Syrian Center for Policy Research, at least 470,000 Syrians have died in the five-year conflict.