Kremlin says Turkey has ‘legitimate security concerns’ over Syria

Turkey has legitimate security concerns over Syria, which will be taken into account ahead of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterparty President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday, the Kremlin has said. 

The remarks from Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov arrived head of a meeting between the two leaders to discuss bilateral ties and international issues in the Russian coastal city of Sochi, Reuters reported.

Peskov told reporters it was important to avoid actions that could “jeopardize Syria’s territorial and political integrity,” according to the agency.

Turkey and Russia back opposite sides in a Syrian war that has killed up to 400,000 people and since the beginning of the conflict that began over a decade ago. Turkey has conducted four major military operations into the north of the neighbouring country targeting Kurdish forces, which it sees as an existential threat over what it maintains are links to an insurgency on its own soil.

Turkey has launched the operations against Kurdish militia group, the People's Protection Units (YPG) despite opposition from Moscow.  

In May, Erdoğan threatened to launch a new military offensive in Syria to secure Turkey's southern border.

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