Turkish military denies Russian claims of Turkish deployment inside Syria
DHA PhotoThe Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has dismissed reported Russian allegations that Turkish troops are inside Syrian territory as “false.”
In an official statement, the Turkish General Staff addressed reports quoting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying that “according to information we have, [Turkish forces] are fortifying their positions hundreds of meters from the border, inside Syria.”
“The said claims are not true,” the General Staff said in a brief statement posted on its official website late on March 14.
In comments to Ren-TV that were broadcast on March 13 and quoted by Russian news agencies, Lavrov said Russia had evidence that Turkey’s armed forces are on Syrian soil.
Turkey has called for the creation of a secure zone 10 kilometers inside Syria. Last month, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan dismissed a Russian claim that Turkey was looking to invade Syria as “laughable.”
The Syrian conflict has stoked growing friction between Ankara and Moscow, which wants to see the Syrian Kurds included in diplomatic efforts to resolve the five-year-old civil war.
Last month, the U.N. Security Council rejected a Russian draft resolution calling for a halt to Turkey’s military actions in Syria.