Russia denies support to PKK, calls on Turkey to solve ‘Kurdistan Issue’

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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova speaking to a press conference in Moscow. File photo

ARA News 

KOBANE – Turkey has found no better justification for punitive operations against Kurds than accusing Russia of arming the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday. 

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has accused Russia of providing anti-aircraft weaponry and rockets to the PKK last week.

“We understand that it is difficult for current Turkish leadership to abandon attempts to explain their domestic problems by certain external factors. With the civil conflict with the Kurdish population unremitting, President Erdogan has not found a better justification for toughening the punitive operations in the [Kurdish-populated] southeast than to accuse Russia of supplying arms to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party,” Zakharova sai.

“What can we say? Even in this hall, we have spoken about these supplies many times. Ankara’s statements are another fiction and nonsense that have nothing to do with reality. Unlike Turkey, Russia is not involved in illegal arms and ammunition supplies,” she said in a press conference in Moscow.

Russia officially provides certain weapons to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq – under an agreement with the government in Baghdad. “The purpose is to assist Iraqi Kurds in combating ISIS and this purpose has never been concealed. Many countries, including Turkey, are assisting Erbil in this,” she said.

The Russian government spokesperson called on Ankara to solve its Kurdish issue, and stop arm supplies to jihadistsgroups in Syria.

“Instead of wasting efforts on seeking external enemies, we appeal to Ankara to provide the necessary conditions to return the Kurdistan issue to the path of peaceful resolution, and to take effective measures to cut off the transit of militants, arms and chemical weapons through its territory to neighbouring Syria,” she added.

The Russian official also said that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) suspended their Raqqa attack, and undertook a move towards Manbij. “If successful, the Kurds will block the main routes connecting Raqqa to the Turkish border.” 

Zakharova also confirmed that the Kurds came to the assistance of the town of Marea under siege by terrorists, helped evacuate the wounded and civilians who wanted to leave.

“The media have published shocking photographs taken at the site of fighting between ISIS and “moderate” opposition forces, primarily Ahrar ash-Sham. Those who saw them can make their own conclusions regarding the “moderate-ness” of these opposition groups,” she added. “For example, they could see photos of smiling Ahrar ash-Sham fighters holding the severed heads of ISIS terrorists. They are both chips of the same block, the ISIS terrorists and the “moderate” fighters who are not at all moderate but real cutthroats,” the Russian spokesperson said about rebel groups that have been shelling Kurdish civilians in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo.

“We again call for more active international cooperation against terrorism in Syria, including against Jabhat al-Nusra. There is no time to lose and no justification left for presenting terrorists as ‘moderate opposition’,” she stated.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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