Russian attacks escalate in Syria according to Turkey, tension heats up

By @preciousvsilva on
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) chairs a meeting with permanent members of the Security Council at the Kremlin in Moscow, December 12, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) chairs a meeting with permanent members of the Security Council at the Kremlin in Moscow, December 12, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin REUTERS/Michael Klimentyev/RIA

Tensions continue to escalate between Russia and Turkey as the latter accuses Moscow of "ethnic cleansing" in Syria. Russia has been conducting airstrikes in Syria, but Turkey claims it is more politically motivated to force regime opposition out.
 
"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," Reuters quoted Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
 
The minister divulged that Russia's recent campaign has been forcing Turkmen and Sunni communities out of the region. However, more than just forcing the opposition out, Russia's moves can benefit the Islamic State, according to analysts. The more so will happen should Turkey continue to go head to head with Russia. Russia argued in light of Turkey's an accusation that it has been targeting IS and similar extremist groups, in favour of President Bashar al-Assad's government forces. Western analysts claimed otherwise, saying that Russian forces have been targeting anti-Assad groups and not extremists.
 
Ankara and Moscow's relation has been strained after Turkey shot down Russia's plane near the Syrian border. According to the former, Russia's plane violated its airspace, which the United States also supported. Russia denied the allegations, with President Vladimir Putin warning that there could be consequences to what Turkey did. Putin employed the services of UK specialists to look into the warplane's flight recorder, according to Prime Minister David Cameron.
 
"Whatever we learn won't change our attitude to what the Turkish authorities did," added Putin the matter.
 
Russia and Turkey's relation is not only strained on the political arena but also economically as Russia stopped working on Turkey's nuclear plant. According to Turkey's officials, Russia's Rosatom halted construction on the country's first planned nuclear power plant because of waning relations with Ankara. The Australian reported Rosatom has not terminated the contract yet, but the company said it is hesitant to continue the project due to sizeable compensation clauses. Turkey has started looking for other contractors.
 
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