News ID: 259912
Published: 0310 GMT October 08, 2019

Iran opposes any Turkish military operation in Syria

Iran opposes any Turkish military operation in Syria
AFP

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic opposes any Turkish military operation in Syria.

The ministry has been following “worrying news of the possibility of the Turkish military forces entering Syrian soil and believes that the occurrence of such an action will not only not end Turkey’s security concerns, but will lead to widespread material and human damage,” the statement said.

On this basis Iran “is against any type of possible military operation” of that kind.

The statement came after Turkey's foreign minister assured his Iranian counterpart that Ankara's military operation in northern Syria is temporary.

Mevlut Cavusoglu gave the assurance in a Monday phone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

In the phone call with Zarif, Cavusoglu emphasized the need to respect Syria’s territorial integrity, saying Turkey’s operation in that region would be temporary.

The top Iranian diplomat, however, expressed Tehran's opposition to any military action, and urged Turkey to respect the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of the Arab country.

Zarif at the same time stressed the necessity of fighting terrorism in Syria for the ultimate establishment of stability and security at the country. However, he said the Adana Agreement is the best approach for Syria and Turkey to address their concerns.

Turkey said on Tuesday it was all set to launch a military push into northeast Syria after the United States began pulling back troops, opening the way for a Turkish attack on Kurdish-led forces long allied to Washington.

But US President Donald Trump warned he would “obliterate” the NATO ally’s economy if it took action in Syria that he considered “off limits” following his decision on Sunday to pull 50 American special forces troops from the border region.

The US move will leave its Kurdish-led partner forces in Syria vulnerable to an incursion by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which brands them terrorists because of their links to Kurdish militants who have waged a long insurgency in Turkey.

Signaling a further potential shift in the region’s power balance, the Kurdish-led forces said they might start talks with Damascus and Russia to fill a security vacuum in the event of a full US withdrawal from the Turkish border area.

The Syrian government said it was an opportunity to welcome the country's Kurds back into its fold.

The Kurds have been "tossed aside" by Washington, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told the pro-government Al-Watan newspaper.

"We will defend all Syrian territory, and we will not accept any occupation of Syrian land," he added.

 

“The TSK will never tolerate the establishment of a terror corridor on our borders. All preparations for the operation have been completed,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Twitter early on Tuesday.

“It is essential to establish a safe zone/peace corridor to contribute to our region’s peace and stability, and for Syrians to achieve a safe life.”

Trump’s warning on Turkey’s economy appeared aimed at placating critics who accused him of abandoning the Syrian Kurds by pulling out US forces. The decision drew criticism from Democrats and a rebuke from some of Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!)” Trump tweeted.

"I have told Turkey that if they do anything outside of what we would think is humane... they could suffer the wrath of an extremely decimated economy," he said.

Ankara brushed aside the threat on Tuesday, with Vice President Fuat Oktay saying, "Turkey is not a country that will act according to threats."

Trump’s remarks also met an angry response in Turkey, including from opposition party politicians such as Iyi Party leader Meral Aksener who said it was a day to put aside domestic politics.

“Threatening Turkey’s economy is a diplomatic catastrophe,” she told her party’s lawmakers in a speech in Parliament. “The best response to this insolence is to go into the east of the Euphrates and break the terror corridor.”

The United States expects Turkey to take responsibility for captive Daesh terrorists in northeastern Syria if Ankara’s planned incursion seizes areas where the detained terrorists are held, a senior State Department official said.

The captives are held in SDF facilities south of a safe zone initially proposed by Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said overnight it was Turkey’s fundamental right to take necessary measures for its national security against terrorism threats from Syria.

“Turkey is determined to clear terrorists from the east of the Euphrates and protect its own security and survival while implementing a secure zone in order to achieve peace and stability,” Aksoy said in a written statement.

Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s strongest foreign ally, said it was not told in advance by Washington or Turkey about any agreements to pull US troops from the northeast, adding it was watching the situation very closely.

Germany and Britain expressed concern about Turkey’s plans for military action. German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said a military intervention would “have fatal security, political and humanitarian consequences”.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey plans to resettle two million refugees in northern Syria and Turkish media has said the draft resettlement plan involves a 151-billion-lira ($26 billion) construction project. Turkey hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees.

Reuters, AFP and Press TV contributed to this story.

 

 

   
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