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US-led coalition asks Russia to concentrate on fighting IS and not attack Syrian opposition


ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's Foreign Ministry statement says Ankara and its allies in the U.S.-led coalition are calling on Russia to immediately cease attacks on the Syrian opposition and to focus on fighting Islamic State militants.

A joint statement by France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Britain and the United States expressed concern over Russia's military actions saying they will "only fuel more extremism and radicalization." The text of the statement was released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Friday, and confirmed by the French Foreign Ministry.

Turkey and its allies are concerned that the Russian airstrikes could be serving to strengthen Syrian President Bashar Assad rather than hitting Islamic State fighters. Turkey has long pushed for Assad to be overthrown.

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