Turkey "to return debt to Aleppo," but denies invasion plans

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said his country will "return a historical debt to Aleppo brothers” who helped defend it in the early 20th century.

Source: B92, RT
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(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)

RT is reporting that this statement came "just days after Russia warned of Ankara’s intentions to invade Syria as the rebels there falter."

“We will return our historic debt. At one time, our brothers from Aleppo defended our cities of Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, now we will defend the heroic Aleppo. All of Turkey stands behind its defenders,” Davutoglu said.

RT noted in its report that Davutoglu was "apparently referring to World War One and subsequent events in the Turkish War of Independence, seemingly glorifying the defense and retaking of Turkish cities from the Allied forces - yet, he failed to mention that the Turks had been drawn into the war by Ottoman imperial ambitions."

"Turkey had entered the conflict by shelling the Russian port of Odessa from the sea. It then suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Russian troops in the war’s southern theater, before the Ottoman Empire was occupied and divided by the Allies. At the time, the three cities Davutoglu named saw thousands of Armenians and other minorities slaughtered by Turkish nationalists as part of the Armenian Genocide, which Ankara denies to this day," the Russian media outlet said.

Previously, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov stated Moscow had "significant evidence to suspect Turkey is in the midst of intense preparations for a military invasion into Syria's sovereign territory."

The town of Aleppo in Syria has been under intense Russian air strikes, accompanied by a ground push of forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad.

In its report, RT said that Turkey in the meanwhile "denied any plans to invade Syria," quoting a senior Turkish government official's statement cited by Reuters that “Turkey doesn’t have any plans or intentions to begin a military campaign or ground operations on Syrian territory."

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