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Turkish FM, Kerry discuss attack on Syrian Turkmen region

Ankara summons Russian envoy after ground offensive by Syrian regime and Russian air forces on predominantly Turkmen villages in Bayir Bucak area

Anadolu Agency
Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu spoke with his U.S. counterpart John Kerry late Friday over the bombing of Turkmen villages in Syria's Bayir Bucak area , says Turkish Prime Ministry sources Saturday.

The phone call followed Thursday's ground offensive by Syrian regime forces, backed by Russian air forces, on the predominantly Turkmen villages in the Bayir Bucak area in the northwestern Latakia province.

This led Turkey to summon Russia's ambassador to Ankara to the Foreign Ministry on Friday.

The sources said the late night phone conversation in which the two top diplomats evaluated the situation after the offensive on the Turkmen region came upon order from Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Ankara also sent a letter to the term presidency of the UN Security Council in demand of immediate handling of the issue.

Sources added that Davutoglu was informed by the chief of the Turkish General Staff Hulusi Akar on the phone regarding the latest situation in the region.

Head of National Intelligence Hakan Fidan at the prime ministry office also briefed the premier on the issue.

Turkey has requested Russia to promptly end this operation, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said on Friday, adding: "Our warnings and request have also been communicated to Russian deputy foreign minister and special presidential representative for the Middle East, Mihail Bogdanov".

"If any attack is mounted against civilians on Turkey's borderline, even with cluster munition shelling, so as to draw the people living there towards Turkey and lead to a further refugee flow, all involved will be held responsible," Davutoglu told the media in Istanbul on Friday.
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