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Turkey mulls boots on the ground in Syria as Kremlin calls for caution

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euronews.com

Turkey's president again hinted at a possible new ground offensive in Syria against Kurdish militants on Tuesday, and it was Moscow that urged restraint and called on Ankara to avoid an escalation.Russia's presidential envoy in Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said that Turkey should "show a certain restraint" in order to prevent an escalation in the Middle Eastern country, where tensions heightened over the weekend after Turkish airstrikes killed and wounded a number of Syrian soldiers.Lavrentyev — whose country is a strong ally of the Syrian government — expressed hope that "it will be possible to convince our Turkish partners to refrain from excessive use of force on Syrian territory."Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces later said fresh Turkish airstrikes on Tuesday struck a base the group shares with the US-led coalition in the fight against the so-called Islamic State group.

The base is just outside the town of Qamishli, 50 kilometres from the Turkish border. Two SDF fighters were killed, and three were wounded, the group said.Turkey carried out airstrikes on suspected Kurdish militant targets in northern Syria and Iraq over the weekend in retaliation for a deadly 13 November bombing in Istanbul that Ankara blames on the militant groups.

The groups have denied involvement in the bombing.The airstrikes also hit several Syrian army positions in three provinces along the border with Turkey and killed and wounded a number of Syrian soldiers, officials said."We will, of course, call on our Turkish colleagues to show a certain restraint in order to prevent an escalation of tension, and an escalation of tension not only in the north, but also in the entire territory of Syria," Lavrentyev was quoted as saying by the Russian

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