Istanbul, Dec 10: Turkey’s prime minister has accused Russia of attempting “ethnic cleansing” with its air strikes in northern Syria. Ahmet Davutoglu said Russia’s campaign targeted Turkmen and Sunni communities around the Latakia region, BBC reported. Relations between Ankara and Moscow have plummeted since Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on the Syrian border. President Vladimir Putin has asked Britain specialists to help alyse the flight recorder in a phone conversation with Prime Minister David Cameron, the Kremlin said.
Turkey insists that its F-16 fighters shot down the Russian Su-24 on 24 November because the bomber trespassed into its airspace. Russia denies this.
“Russia is trying to make ethnic cleansing in the northern Latakia (region) to force (out) all Turkmen and Sunni populations who do not have good relations with the (Syrian) regime,” Davutoglu told reporters in Istanbul on Wednesday. He said Russian air strikes were “strengthening” the Islamic state group in Syria. (IANS)