Russia to US: Seal Turkey-Syria border to stop terrorists inflow
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stressed the need for the complete closure of the porous Turkish-Syrian border in a bid to prevent the reinforcement of foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
Speaking in a telephone conversation with US State Secretary John Kerry, Lavrov “reiterated that the Turkey-Syria border remains full of holes and is actively used to bring terrorists to Syria via Turkey,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on Friday.
“He insisted that the border must be sealed, and urged a quick coordination of all necessary measures, including on the part of the UN Security Council, to resolve this issue,” the statement added.
The two senior diplomats also discussed plans to advance the United Nations-brokered negotiations between representatives from the Damascus government and the Syrian opposition to ensure the political settlement of the Syrian crisis.
‘Turkey Daesh’s major arms supplier’
Meanwhile, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin has described Turkey as the key supplier of weapons and munitions to the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, noting that the country’s intelligence service, MIT, is in charge of such activities.
“The main supplier of weapons and military equipment to Daesh is Turkey, which is doing so through non-governmental organizations. Work in this area is overseen by the National Intelligence Organization of Turkey. Transportation mainly involves vehicles, including as part of humanitarian aid convoys,” Churkin said in a letter sent to the United Nations Security Council on Friday.
The Russian envoy added, “Between January 11 and 21, Turkish intelligence officers supplied Jabhat al-Sham (Levant Front) terrorists with 7.62mm and 12.7mm ammunition and rounds for RPG-7 grenade launchers.”
“On January 25, the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms financed a shipment of equipment and food (approximately 55 tons) to Daesh terrorists,” Churkin pointed out.
The Russian UN ambassador also wrote in the letter that Turkish Besar foundation “is most actively engaged” in supplying weapons and equipment to Daesh militants.
Total explosive materials “supplies to terrorists through Turkey were as follows in 2015: 2,500 tons of ammonium nitrate (worth approximately US$788,700); 456 tons of potassium nitrate ($468,700); 75 tons of aluminum powder ($496,500); sodium nitrate ($19,400); glycerin ($102,500); and nitric acid ($34,000),” Churkin pointed out.
In a recent interview with the Sputnik news agency, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad labeled the Takfiri militants fighting in his country as “the army of Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” accusing his Turkish counterpart of directly supporting the terrorists.
Turkey has reportedly been the main conduit for militants entering Syria and involved in training, arming and financing terrorist groups in its war-torn neighbor.