Turkey urges UN Security Council to talk on Russian bombings

Turkish deputy prime minister calls on UN Security Council to debate recent Russian attacks on civilians in Syria

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus speaks during press conference following a Cabinet meeting in Ankara on Feb. 16, 2016.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus on Tuesday called on United Nation Security Council to debate over Russia’s air strikes on civilians and hospitals in Syria.

Kurtulmus also called on Russia and the US - both permanent members of the council - to show their support for peace by enforced a no-fly zone in Syria.

“The issue that should be brought to the United Nations Security Council is yesterday’s attacks on hospitals, civilian areas and areas that should be jointly defended,” Kurtulmus said in a news conference following a cabinet meeting in Ankara.

On Monday, Russian jets targeted two schools and a hospital in Azaz, the northwestern Syrian town that has been the scene of heavy fighting in recent days.

A Doctors Without Borders-run hospital in Idlib, 80 kilometers (50 miles) to the southwest of Azaz, was also hit, killing at least 50, including women and children.

Current discussions aimed at moving towards a ceasefire in Syria have been thrown into doubt by a Russian-backed offensive in the northwest of the country.

Kurtulmus dared the US and Russia to declare no-fly zones at the UN Security Council if they are indeed sincere about establishing peace in Syria.

“If you want to get a sincere result from the peace tables, you need to prevent the inhuman dimensions of the war by declaring a no-fly zone at UN meetings,” Kurtulmus said.

He condemned the “contradiction” of the UN seeking to broker peace talks while one of the Security Council’s permanent members - Russia - flouted calls to end the violence.

“You will both prepare the ground where the one who has a power at the UN will carry out every type of massacre and then you will claim you have formed a peace table,” he said.

Kurtulmus refuted claims that Turkey was close to becoming more involved in the conflict and said the government had been acting to protect Turkey's national interests.

“We cannot consent to Turkey being dragged into a venture whose end is unclear,” he said, adding that he hoped Turkey would “maintain immediate peace in this region”.

TRTWorld, AA