Russia takes Turkey to UN over Syria
Security Council meeting to discuss protection of “Syria’s sovereignty” as Turkish shelling of Kurdish bases continues.
Russia has called an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss what it describes as the deteriorating situation on the Turkish-Syrian border and Turkey’s plans to send troops into Syria.
A statement posted on Friday on the foreign ministry’s website said Russia intends to submit a draft council resolution calling on Turkey to “cease any actions that undermine Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” in the meeting later on Friday.
Turkey’s military has been pushing ahead with its cross-border artillery shelling campaign against US-backed Syrian Kurdish fighter positions in Syria.
For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said US-supplied weapons have been used against civilians by Syrian Kurdish fighters.
US support for the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which it considers a useful ally in the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, has angered Turkey and risks driving a wedge between the NATO allies.
Speaking in Istanbul on Friday, Erdogan said he was saddened by the West’s refusal to call the PYD and its military wing, the YPG, “terrorist groups”.
He said he would explain to US President Barack Obama by phone how weapons provided by the US have aided the Syrian Kurdish fighters.
“I will tell him, look at how and where those weapons you provided were fired,” Erdogan said.
“Months ago in my meeting with him, I told him the US was supplying weapons. Three planeloads arrived, half of them ended up in the hands of Daesh [ISIL], and half of them in the hands of the PYD.
“Against whom were these weapons used? They were used against civilians there and caused their deaths.”
Erdogan appeared to be referring to a US airdrop of 28 bundles of military supplies in late 2014 meant for Iraqi Kurdish fighters near the Syrian city of Kobane.
The US defence department said at the time one had fallen into the hands of ISIL.
The Pentagon later said it had targeted the missing bundle in an air strike and destroyed it.
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Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, earlier accused the US of making conflicting statements about the Syrian Kurdish fighters.
He said John Kerry, US secretary of state, had told him that Kurdish fighters could not be trusted, in what Cavusoglu said was a departure from the official US position.
The US says it does not consider the YPG a terrorist group.
A state department spokesman said on Thursday the US was not in a position to confirm or deny Turkey’s charge that the YPG was behind the Ankara bombing.