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Russia bombs moderate Syria opposition: Turkey President


Turkish president says Russian attacks have failed to target ISIS.
Turkish president says Russian attacks have failed to target ISIS.
Russian airstrikes in Syria have targeted moderate opposition forces, not ISS, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
Erdogan made the remarks in a televised interview with Al-Jazeera late on Friday.
Russia began airstrikes on Wednesday to bolster the regime of  Bashar al-Assad. Moscow insists the strikes are targeting ISIS and affiliated terrorist groups, but Western countries and their Gulf allies believe moderate opponents of Assad and civilians are bearing the brunt of Russian bombing.
Erdogan said: “We learned that 65 people died during the ongoing Russian operations. Where? Around Hama, Homs and Aleppo. It is too significant. Because Russia expressed [to] our embassy in a written statement that it will struggle against ISIS here.
“But, it [Russia] did not make this against ISIS; literally it made this against moderate opposition, which has been resisting the regime. Civilians were killed. They ignore the killing of civilians.”
The U.S. and several of its allies, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, issued a joint statement Thursday expressing concern over the Russian airstrikes.
Erdogan said he will talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the killings.
I will ask them to review their steps on this issue, because we have sorrow in the region and we bear the pain. Russia does not have a border with Syria, but I have a border of 911 kilometers [with Syria],” said Erdogan.
Turkey has welcomed Syrian refugees since the beginning of the civil war in March 2011 and is now hosting around two million people under temporary protection regulations.
Erdogan said: “We look after two million people. Russia does not. Why is Russia so interested in Syria? I want to understand this.”