Russia ‘bewildered’ by Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu’s remarks

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said on Nov. 19 it was “bewildered” by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s statement accusing Russia of failing to fulfill its agreement on Syria as well as a Turkish pledge to conduct a new military operation in northern areas if the area was not cleared of the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

“Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoğlu’s statement about Russia’s alleged non-fulfilment of its commitments, as well as the threat to unleash a military operation in northern Syria, was met with bewilderment by the Russian Ministry of Defense,” Major General Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, was quoted as saying by Sputnik news agency.

Çavuşoğlu on Nov. 18 criticized the United States and Russia over separate agreements Ankara reached with them regarding the situation in Syria. The Turkish minister said that Washington and Moscow had not done what was required under agreements that halted a Turkish offensive against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group that is led by the YPG, in northeastern Syria last month.

Ankara would launch a new military operation in northeast Syria if the area “was not cleared of terrorists,” the minister said.

The deals stipulated that the YPG would be removed from a swathe of land bordering Turkey in northeastern Syria.

Çavuşoğlu called on Washington and Moscow to do what is necessary under the deals.

“If we do not obtain a result, we will do what is necessary, just as we launched the operation after trying with the U.S.,” Çavusoğlu said, referring to work with Washington to remove the YPG from the area before Turkey launched its cross-border incursion on Oct. 9.