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Turkey: Russian air strikes hitting Islamic State opponents

Wednesday, October 07, 2015 - 01:26

Turkey says Russian air strikes are hitting rebels who are fighting Islamic State in Syria and urged Russia to respect Turkish air space and interests. Diane Hodges reports.

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Smoke rises over what is purported to be towns in the Syrian provinces of Idlib and Hama. These videos uploaded to social media say they show Russian air strikes, in what a Syrian monitoring group says is an assault coordinated with the Syrian army and militia allied with it. Russian officials say their planes are targeting the forces of Islamic States. But Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu said most of the strikes were aimed at rebel forces who are trying to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRIME MINISTER, AHMET DAVUTOGLU, SAYING: "Russian air forces carried out 57 air strikes and, according to the information we received, only two of these air strikes are against Daesh." NATO says Russian planes flew over Turkish air space en route to the bombing sites, something it called "extremely dangerous." Davutoglu warned Russia to stay away from Turkish territory. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRIME MINISTER, AHMET DAVUTOGLU, SAYING: "We don't want tensions with Russia. But it is Turkey's right to expect Russia to respect Turkey's air space, borders and interests in Syria." Russia said its planes were only in Turkish territory by mistake. It says it's ready to hold talks with Turkey to avoid "misunderstandings" and invited foreign military officers to Moscow for talks on how best to fight Islamic State.

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Turkey: Russian air strikes hitting Islamic State opponents

Wednesday, October 07, 2015 - 01:26