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  • Refugees on the border between Turkey and Greece await an opportunity to enter that European country, March, 2020.

    Refugees on the border between Turkey and Greece await an opportunity to enter that European country, March, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @TheSuperGreek_

Published 4 March 2020
Opinion

Damascus has repeatedly denounced the presence of Turkish forces in the region.

Russia and Syria are not responsible for the humanitarian crisis in Idlib, a province in the northwestern part of the country, nor for the displacement of millions of people from that territory to Turkey, Russian authorities said on Tuesday.

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The head of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of the Parties to the Conflict in Syria, Oleg Zhuravlyov, claimed that the Russian troops were not responsible for the crisis, and condemned this accusation as "partially and completely false."

Zhuravlyov also denied that Syrian army operations launched in response to the terrorist offensive had caused a humanitarian crisis in Idlib.

For his part, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said during a press conference that, instead of defaming the country, "why does the West not condemn the illegal transfer of Turkish troops to Idlib?"

Since early February, Damascus has been accused by the West of alleged "war crimes", of causing a humanitarian catastrophe, which has resulted in the displacement of millions of refugees in Idlib.

Meanwhile, the international community remains silent "in the face of the actions of the Turkish side, which has sent a combat group to Idlib, whose number is equivalent to that of a mechanized division," Konashenkov said Tuesday during a press conference.

"It is easier to divert attention to Russia or Syria, while Turkey, during its Spring Peace operation in October 2019, forced more than 135,000 people, mostly Kurds, to leave their places of residence," Oleg Zhuravlyov added in a statement to the local press.

Damascus has repeatedly denounced the illegitimate presence of Turkish forces in the region and called on Ankara, the Turkish capital, to withdraw its troops from the country.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will discuss recent developments in Idlib with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at a meeting on Thursday.​​​​​​​

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