Russia does not believe a potential military operation by Turkey against Kurdish militias in Northern Syria would “contribute to stability and security” in the Arab Republic, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Wednesday.
President Vladimir Putin’s Special Envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentyev noted that, in Moscow’s eyes, such an incursion on the part of Ankara “would be an ill-advised step that could lead to the destabilization of the situation.” Russia is planning to urge Turkey to try to resolve any issues peacefully, the official added, speaking on Wednesday at the beginning of an international meeting on Syria in Kazakhstan’s Nur Sultan.
Last month Turkey announced its plans for a military offensive in Northern Syria, with the establishment of a 30-kilometer “safe zone” along the Syrian border named as its key objective. Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan explained that his country’s Armed Forces would launch an “anti-terrorist” operation, targeting the northern Syrian cities of Tal Rifat and Manbij which have large Kurdish populations and are currently controlled by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish group. Addressing lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party, he added that the military would then move “step by step into other regions.” The Turkish leader didn’t specify when exactly the operation would begin.