Turkey Tells Russia It Will Continue to Respond to Syrian Attacks

Smoke rises following an airstrike on an oil field in Qamishli, Syria, Wednesday. (North Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS)

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told his Russian counterpart in a call on Thursday that Ankara would continue responding to attacks from northern Syria, after Russia asked Turkey to refrain from a full-scale Syrian offensive.

Akar told Sergei Shoigu that “Turkey’s priority is to prevent the terrorism threat (from northern Syria) permanently,” and said previous agreements on this issue need to be adhered to, the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Senior Russian negotiator Alexander Lavrentyev on Wednesday said Turkey should refrain from a full-scale ground offensive in Syria, because such actions could trigger an escalation of violence.

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