Turkey slams Russian attack on Syria's rebel-held Idlib

Turkish PM says Syria won't be part of "imperialist goals" after reports Russian air strikes killed dozens of civilians.

    Turkey slams Russian attack on Syria's rebel-held Idlib
    More than 250,000 people have been killed in Syria since March 2011 when the war began [Khalil Ashawi/Reuters]

    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu condemned reported Russian air strikes that killed dozens of Syrian civilians in a rebel-held city and said Syria will not be part of "Russian imperialist goals".

    Air raids killed more than 40 people in the centre of Idlib in northwest Syria on Sunday, rescue workers and residents said.

    "Syrian lands are not, and will not be, a part of Russia's imperialist goals," Davutoglu told members of his ruling AK Party in parliament on Tuesday.

    Relations between Ankara and Moscow are at their worst in recent memory after Turkey shot down a Russian plane over Syria last month, leading to the death of its pilot who was shot by rebels as he parachuted down.

     Alleged Russian air strikes pound Idlib

    The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said on its website on Tuesday at least three women from one family were killed as "Russian warplanes" targeted Idlib, while three people died in Homs province.

    The observatory said Russian air strikes have killed 2,132 people in Syria - one-third of them civilians - since they began on September 30.

    About 710 civilians were killed - of whom 161 were children and 104 women - and the rest were rebels from various groups, it said.

    The observatory has an extensive network of informants inside Syria. It bases its tallies on Russian-caused casualties by the type of aircraft flown and munitions used.

    Turkey - which has long called for the ousting of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and supports rebels fighting against him - has been highly critical of Russia's role in the region. Moscow is a longtime ally of Assad.

    Russia began a major campaign of air strikes on September 30 in support of Assad, whose forces have suffered setbacks this year, including the loss of Idlib province and other areas of crucial strategic importance.


    READ MORE: Nine girls killed in Syria elementary school shelling


    Turkey's Davutoglu also said talks on restoring ties with Israel were continuing and Ankara was insisting on its demands for compensation and for "lifting restrictions" on Gaza, which is subject to an Israeli blockade.

    Israel's once-strong ties to Turkey soured in 2010 when Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish activists when they stormed a ship in a convoy seeking to break an Israeli naval blockade of the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

     Russia says it has proof of oil deals between Turkey and ISIL

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.