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Thousands flee to border amid fresh fighting in Aleppo

Tens of thousands amassed at the Turkish border on Friday Credit: RTV

Thousands of Syrians have fled to the Turkish border as the city of Aleppo came under fresh attack from a Russian assault.

As many as 15,000 people have gathered at the Bab al-Salam border crossing, carrying their belongings on their backs, as they sought refuge from the fighting.

Aleppo's mass exodus came as the UK's mission to the UN claimed Russia had completed at least 320 strikes north-west of the city while international Syrian peace talks were taking place.


Airspace row: Erdogan warns Russia of 'consequences'

Turkey has warned Russia over reported airspace violations Credit: Depo Photos/ABACA/PA

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Moscow that it will "endure the consequences" if its jets continued to enter his country's airspace.

We regard this infringement which came despite all our warnings in Russian and in English as an effort by Russia to escalate the crisis in the region.

If Russia continues the violations of Turkey's sovereign rights it will be forced to endure the consequences.

– Recep Tayyip Erdogan

It comes after a Russian jet reportedly violated his country's airspace on Friday.

Turkey summons Russian envoy over airspace 'violation'

The Turkish foreign ministry says a Russian jet violated Turkish airspace on Friday, adding that "unwanted consequences will be Russia's responsibility".

Turkey summons Russian envoy over 'airspace violation'. Credit: Russian MOD

Turkey has summoned the Russian envoy to condemn the alleged violation.

In a statement the ministry said the move was a clear sign Russia wanted issues between the two sides to escalate.

Tensions are high between the two countries after Turkey downed a Russian jet near the Syrian border in November 2015, which led to one of its pilots being killed.

Russia announced a string of economic sanctions against Turkey in response.

Litvinenko inquiry 'could complicate ties with Russia'

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov speaks during a news conference in Moscow Credit: Reuters

The Litvinenko inquiry will "seriously complicate Russian-British ties", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

British government leaders could be sued for slander for their comments over the Litvinenko inquiry, Lavrov told a news conference.

The judge-led inquiry found President Vladimir Putin "probably" approved the assassination of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in London.

Sir Robert Owen's report said Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun were probably acting under the direction of Moscow's FSB intelligence service when they poisoned him with radioactive polonium 210 at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair in 2006.

He added he inquiry contained groundless accusations and left many questions unanswered.


'At least 3,000 killed' by Russian airstrikes in Syria

An injured man stands in a site hit by what activists said were Russian airstrikes in Douma, Syria, earlier this month. Credit: Reuters

At least 3,000 people have been killed by Russian airstrikes in Syria since they began at the end of September, a monitoring group has claimed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which keeps track of violence in the country through local sources, said 893 members of so-called Islamic State were among those killed.

Britain 'increasingly disturbed' by Russia's Syria bombing

Michael Fallon said Russia was responsible for civilian deaths. Credit: PA

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said he is "increasingly disturbed" by Russian bombings in Syria, amid reports that many attacks have killed civilians.

Speaking ahead of a meeting of defence ministers in Paris, Mr Fallon said:
"The casualty total keeps climbing. We have estimates of several hundred civilians killed through the use of unguided munitions on civilian areas and opposition groups fighting ([Syrian President Bashar al] Assad."

"That I deplore," he added. Propping up the Assad regime is simply prolonging the agony. On the contrary, Russia should be using its influence to make it clear that Assad has no future in Syria."

He added that it was time to capitalise on recent setbacks for the so-called Islamic State, and said the US-led coalition should aim to cut off the "head of the snake" of the radical group by tightening its noose around the Syrian stronghold Raqqa.

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