Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday condemned Russian air strikes which killed dozens of civilians in Syria, calling the bombing campaign as “vile, cruel and barbaric.”
Speaking during weekly group meeting with his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) members in parliament, Davutoglu said "Those vile, cruel and barbaric planes have made close to 8,000 sorties since September 30 without any discrimination between civilians and soldiers, or children and the elderly.”
Russian air strikes killed almost 50 civilians and injured dozens of people, including at least 10 children on Monday, when missiles hit five medical centres and two schools in opposition-held Syrian towns.
The United Nations called the attacks a blatant violation of international law.
'PYD has become Russia’s mercenary'
Davutoglu also accused PYD of fighting against “moderate opposition” instead of DAESH terrorist organisation.
“Lately, PYD started to stab the groups which fight against DAESH in the back. Especially after the tension between Turkey and Russia escalated, PYD has become Russia’s mercenary prioritising to harm Turkey. PYD and YPG certainly do not represent Kurdish people in the region. They are not representatives of Syria but Russia’s legionaries and mercenaries,” Davutoglu said.
YPG is the militant wing of PYD which Ankara considers as Syrian extension of PKK terrorist organisation although US considers it as an ally against the DAESH terrorist group.
Turkey has long been confronted with armed attacks in its southeastern regions by the PKK, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and EU.
On Feb. 13, Turkish Armed Forces started to shell YPG targets near the town of Azaz in northern Syria and Davutoglu said that the shelling had taken place under "the rules of engagement against forces that represented a threat in Azaz and the surrounding area.”
Speaking on the third day of shelling, Davutoglu warned YPG that they would face the "harshest reaction" if they tried to capture a town near the border.
“We will not let Azaz fall. The YPG will not be able to cross to the west of the Euphrates (River) and east of Afrin,” he added.
During his speech at the party meeting, Davutoglu also said that they will take preventive measures to avoid becoming involved in the Syrian war.