Iran Opposes Possible Turkish Attack on Northeast Syria

  • The statement expressed readiness to "make immediate contact with Turkish and Syrian authorities."
  • Foreign Ministry officials say Turkey has been "in breach" of a peace agreement for two years.
  • Mеаnwhіlе, in the Sуrіаn capital of Damascus, Dерutу Fоrеіgn Mіnіѕtеr Faisal Mеkdаd called оn thе соuntrу'ѕ Kurdѕ to rеjоіn the gоvеrnmеnt ѕіdе.

Iran has stated that it opposes any possible military operations in Syria, and that the US decision to withdraw its troops from the north should be made sooner. The Foreign Ministry of Iran issued a statement on Tuesday referring to the possibility of Turkish troops entering Syrian territory. Such a move would not only address Turkey’s security concerns but also cause damage, they said. Iran has called US military presence in Syria “illegitimate,” and has insisted that the US decision to withdraw its troops “should have happened much sooner.”

The People’s Protection Units or People’s Defense Units is a mainly-Kurdish militia in Syria and the primary component of the Syrian Democratic Forces. The YPG mostly consists of ethnic Kurds, but also includes Arabs, foreign volunteers, and is closely allied to the Syriac Military Council, a militia of Assyrians.

The statement also expressed readiness to “make immediate contact with Turkish and Syrian authorities,” and that Iran was following “closely” the “worrying news” of the possible entry of Turkish troops into Syrian territory. Prior to the statement, Iranian and Turkish Foreign Ministers, Mohammad Javad Zarif and Mawloud Cavusoglu, had a telephone conversation Monday night. The Iranian Foreign Ministry website described the issue as “the latest developments in northeast Syria”.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry considers a peace agreement as a “good” basis for dialogue between the parties. The agreement was signed between Turkey and Syria on October 5, to end the two countries’ differences. Iran and Egypt were observers of the deal. According to the agreement, the parties pledged to prevent “terrorist groups” from entering each other’s territory. Turkey is also allowed to enter Syrian territory up to five kilometers deep to confront these groups.

Foreign Ministry officials say Turkey has been “in breach” of the agreement for two years. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday threatened to invade northeast Syria. Mr. Erdogan has announced a decision to cleanse the area of ​​People’s Defense Units forces. Ankara regards the Kurdish militant group as “terrorist” and affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Many observers in the area see the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria as a gift to Turkey to suppress Kurdish armed forces in those areas. Donald Trump’s decision has drawn widespread criticism in America and even among his Republican allies. In recent years, the People’s Defense Units have fought with the US-backed coalition against Daesh.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is a Kurdish far-left militant and political organization based in Turkey and Iraq. Since 1984 the PKK has been involved in an armed conflict with the Turkish state. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by several states and organizations, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the European Union.

The White House said in a statement Sunday that US troops had defeated Daesh, and said it would withdraw its troops from northern Syria. Trump also threatened, via Twitter, to “totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey,” if it does anything he considers “off limits.”

Mеаnwhіlе, in the Sуrіаn capital of Damascus, Dерutу Fоrеіgn Mіnіѕtеr Faisal Mеkdаd called оn thе соuntrу’ѕ Kurdѕ to rеjоіn the gоvеrnmеnt ѕіdе аftеr apparently being аbаndоnеd by their U.S. аllіеѕ. Mеkdаd’ѕ соmmеntѕ wеrе thе fіrѕt Syrian rеасtіоn since Trump’s announcement оn Sunday, аѕ nоrthеаѕtеrn Syria braces fоr аn imminent Turkіѕh аttасk оn Syrian Kurdіѕh mіlіtіаѕ.

Trumр’ѕ ѕtаtеmеnt hаѕ infuriated the Kurdѕ, whо ѕtаnd tо lоѕе thе аutоnоmу thеу gained frоm Dаmаѕсuѕ during Sуrіа’ѕ сіvіl wаr, nоw in іtѕ nіnth уеаr. Mekdad said that Dаmаѕсuѕ will ѕоlvе аll Sуrіаn рrоblеmѕ in a роѕіtіvе wау, away from vіоlеnсе.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.


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