GENEVA – Russia called on Tuesday for the Syrian-Turkish border to be closed, saying arms were being hidden in humanitarian aid convoys and channelled to fighters of Islamic State and its allies. Russia, which supports Syrian President Bashar Assad and is on poor terms with Turkey since it shot down a Russian warplane last November,
has repeatedly accused Ankara of preparing for an armed intervention across the border into Syria. Speaking in Geneva against the backdrop of a US-Russia negotiated deal for a cessation of hostilities in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “A very special task is to cut the terrorists’ supply from the outside,” referring to Islamic State, the Nusra Front and others “of their kind”. “For this purpose the Syrian-Turkish border has to be closed, since across this border those gangs receive arms, including with humanitarian convoys,” Lavrov said in remarks to the United Nations Human Rights Council.