Allies urge Russia to stop targeting civilians in Syria

US, Turkey, coalition partners demand Russia 'focus its efforts on fighting Daesh' in Syria

Baku. 2 October. REPORT.AZ/ The U.S., Turkey and a group of Western and Gulf allies on Thursday urged Russia to immediately stop its airstrikes on Syrian opposition forces and civilians, Report informs referring to Anadolu Agency.

"We express our deep concern with regard to the Russian military build-up in Syria and especially ‎the attacks by the Russian Air Force on Hama, Homs and Idlib since yesterday which led to civilian casualties and did not target Daesh," according to a joint statement by the group.

"These military actions constitute a further escalation and will only fuel more extremism and radicalization," it added.

The statement by the group which included Britain, France, Germany, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - all of which take part in the international counter-Daesh coalition led by the U.S. -came on the heels of Russia's first airstrikes in Syria.

According to the Syrian National Coalition, the main Western-backed opposition alliance, the Russian airstrikes resulted in the deaths of 36 civilians, including five children.

The areas targeted by Russia were free of any Daesh or al-Qaeda presence, the group's chief, Khaled Khoja, said in New York on Wednesday.

"We call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease its attacks on the Syrian opposition and civilians and to focus its efforts on fighting ISIL [Daesh]," the joint statement said.

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