Turkey says Moscow, Assad use human tragedy as 'weapon'

Turkish Defense Minister Yilmaz accuses Russia, Assad regime of using human tragedy in Syria as weapon against Turkey, Europe

Turkey says Moscow, Assad use human tragedy as 'weapon'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz accused Russian forces and the Bashar al-Assad regime of using the human tragedy in Syria as a weapon against Turkey and Europe. 

Addressing deputies at the Turkish parliament in Ankara Tuesday, Yilmaz said Moscow has carried out over 7,200 airstrikes since Sept. 30 when the Russian military intervention began.

"However, 88 percent of the Russian airstrikes targeted civilians and the opposition forces, while only 12 percent of the attacks hit ISIL. But we could not see any tangible effect of the airstrikes on ISIL, on the contrary, they [the airstrikes] have simplified the group's job in Syria," Yilmaz said. 

"Russia is not seeking for a political solution in Syria, but a military one," Yilmaz added, noting that tens of thousand of people fled to Turkish borders due to the Russian bombings.

Five medical units and two schools were hit in Monday’s strikes in Syria which the UN says claimed around 50 civilian lives and injured dozens of people, including children.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement to strongly condemn the Russian offensives, calling them an "unconscionable and obvious war crime under international law".

UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville also said in a news conference on Tuesday: "If it was deliberate, intentional targeting of those facilities, it could amount to a war crime."

Syria has remained locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the regime of President Bashar al-Assad cracked down on pro-democracy protests with an unexpected ferocity.

Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN figures.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Şubat 2016, 09:05