Russia not fighting IS in Syria says Turkey

Ankara, Dec 28 (IANS) Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said on Monday that Russia is not fighting Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and has made this clear by supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime.

Addressing at a press conference in Ankara, Kalin said the IS was used as an excuse to preserve the Assad regime, which was accused of killing over 400,000 civilians in Syria.

He argued that the locations provided by Assad regime to Russia to strike the IS targets have no relation with the IS, Xinhua reported.

Kalin also noted that Turkey actively participates in the coalition against the IS and has deported over 2800 suspects.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that only 10 percent of Russian airstrikes target the IS, while the remaining attacks target Turkmens and other Muslims opposing the Assad regime.

Russia has been carrying airstrikes in Syria since September 30 in a bid to support the Assad government.

The Syria-Turkey relations have hit the bottom since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011.

Turkey blames Assad for prolonging the crisis, while Damascus accuses Ankara of facilitating the flow of foreign militants into Syria.

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