Russia says it respects Turkey's concerns in Syria but calls for restraint

Nov 22 (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Tuesday that it respects what it calls Turkey's "legitimate" security concerns over Syria but said all parties there should avoid steps that could worsen the situation.

Turkey launched air strikes on Kurdish militant bases in northern Syria and Iraq on Sunday and President Tayyip Erdogan has said it may deploy ground forces as it targets groups it blames for a bombing in Istanbul on Nov. 13.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that while there were disagreements between Russia and Turkey in their approach to Syria, Moscow understood Turkey's security concerns.

"We understand and respect Turkey's concerns about ensuring its own security. We believe this is Turkey's legitimate right. At the same time, we call on all parties to refrain from steps that could lead to the destabilisation of the overall situation," he said.

Russia supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's 11-year war, while Ankara has backed rebels fighting to topple him.

Reporting by Reuters

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