War in Syria | Turkey’s offensive “would destabilize the region,” Iran warns

(Damascus) The head of Iran’s diplomacy, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, warned on Saturday that any military action by Turkey in Syria would destabilize the region, while Ankara threatens to launch an offensive there.

Posted at 2:55 p.m

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly threatened a new military operation against two locations in northern Syria since late May, targeting Kurdish fighters whom he describes as “terrorists”.

The Syrian government opposes such an offensive in this part of Syria, which it lost control of during the war that began in 2011.

“Any Turkish military action in northern Syria would be a destabilizing element in the region,” Amir-Abdollahian said at a press conference in Damascus, whose Persian statements were simultaneously translated into Arabic.

The Iranian Foreign Minister was received in Damascus by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Mr Assad, quoted in a press release, considered the “Turkish allegations justifying his offensive on Syrian territory” to be “void”. According to him, “they violate the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law”.

“This regime attacks Syrian territory as soon as the Syrian army acts against terrorist organizations,” the statement added.

In the morning, quoted by the official Irna agency, Amir-Abdollahian stated that his trip to Syria was “particularly aimed at establishing peace and security in the region between Syria and Turkey”.

The head of Iran’s diplomacy paid a visit to Ankara on Monday, where he said he “understood” the need for a new Turkish military operation against Kurdish militants in Syria.

Both Tehran and Ankara are hostile to Kurdish separatists conducting operations in both Turkey and Iran. But the Islamic Republic is also a powerful ally of Bashar al-Assad’s regime and defends the integrity of Syria, part of which is under the control of armed Kurdish groups.

The two locations against which Turkey plans to launch its operation, Tal Rifaat and Manbij, are part of a 30km “security zone” that Ankara plans to set up along the Turkish-Syrian border.

The United States has multiplied warnings of a Turkish offensive that it says risks destabilizing the region and jeopardizing the fight against the jihadists.

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