Fоrеіgn Mіnіѕtrу ѕроkеѕmаn Seyyed Abbas Mousavi ѕаіd Iran “welcomes any move that would result in the maintenance of Syria’s territorial integrity, reinforcement of its national sovereignty, and return of stability and calm to the region.” Aссоrdіng tо Irаnіаn news аgеnсіеѕ, Mousavi added that “the Islamic Republic considers the agreement reached between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey to end the conflicts in northern Syria as a positive step to return stability and calm to the region.”
President Trump’s decision earlier this month to withdraw approximately 1,000 US troops from Syria has been attacked from both sides of the aisle. Both Democrats and Republicans alike have criticized the decision on the basis that it is unfair to the Kurds, an Iranian ethnic group and ally of the United States. The argument centers on the fact that a US withdrawal puts the Kurds at risk, specifically from Turkey, who has vocally threatened violence against the Kurdish fighters, who they consider to be terrorists.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has criticized Turkey’s military operation in Syria Sunday. Maas has threatened that as Erdogan continues to operate in northern Syria, Europe will cut funding for the asylum agreement with Turkey. Maas, in connection with Turkish military attacks on Kurdish militias in northern Syria, has said that the operation is not legitimate under international law.
Nearly ten days after Turkish military operations began in northern Syria, and three days after the ceasefire was announced, the Syrian Democratic Forces, the most important of which were Kurdish militia People’s Defense Units (YPG), announced their withdrawal in accordance with the ceasefire. They have accomplished their task, they said. A spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces wrote on Twitter, “we no longer have a fighter in the city.”
US Vice President Mike Pence said Washington and Ankara have agreed on a 120 hour suspension of Turkish attacks in northeastern Syria. This is necessary to enable the Kurdish militia to leave border areas within five days, and with the assistance of the Americans. Turkey has identified this area as a “safe zone.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has unequivocally rejected all US calls for an end to military operations in northern Syria. Instead, the Turkish army has continued bombing Syrian border posts. Forces affiliated with the Syrian army are stationed in the border. Despite the US’ calls for a ceasefire, and sanctions on its ministers, President Erdogan has said he will continue his military operations in northern and eastern Syria. Meanwhile, the Syrian army is said to have been entrusted with Russian support.
US President Donald Trump, on Monday, announced the imposition of economic sanctions against Turkey for starting military operations in northern Syria. The Turkish invasion has already killed 80 civilians and displaced 160,000 residents. The operation began shortly after the withdrawal of the US military from the region last week.
Russian military officials are voicing concerns over the humanitarian crisis in Syria due to Turkish involvement. Turkey started an operation against the Kurds on October 9, 2019 under the guise of “counterterrorism.” The Kurdish population of Syria is that country’s largest ethnic minority, comprising between 7% and 10% of the population. Kurds are one of the indigenous peoples of the Mesopotamian plains and the highlands in what is now south-eastern Turkey, north-eastern Syria, northern Iraq, north-western Iran and south-western Armenia.
Syrian troops were dispatched to the border with Turkey Monday, just hours after Kurdish militias, which were allies of the United States, announced an agreement with the Bashar al-Assad regime to help them counter the Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria. Turkey’s invasion began after the withdrawal of American troops from the region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Saudi Arabia Monday to meet with Saudi leaders. Putin also held talks with King Salman, as well as with Saudi Arabia over Iran and Syria. The leaders’ talks focused on the issue of oil production and the price of the product in world markets. Political analysts believe that tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as Turkey’s progress in Syria, are among the issues to be discussed at the summit of the leaders of the two countries.
In reaction to the Turkish offensive in Syria, both France and Germany have decided to immediately halt the selling any military equipment that Ankara may use in its ongoing invasion. Notably, Turkey is the largest buyer of German weapons.
The Kurds, who have faced Turkish attacks in northern Syria, are calling on Americans to assume their moral obligation to help them. They accuse the United States of leaving them alone, despite promises to provide them security. The Kurds, in a statement, also called on the United States to close the area’s airspace for Turkish planes. Meanwhile, France has suspended arms exports to its NATO ally because of Turkish military action.
Despite the deaths of dozens, including civilians, and the displacement of about 100,000 people from border towns in northern Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists on continuing his military campaign, “Operation Spring Peace,” against Kurdish fighters. Erdogan said he would continue this “battle until all terrorists go south 32 kilometers away from our border.”
US President Donald Trump says there are three options to resolve the crisis between Turkey and the Kurds in northeastern Syria, and talked Thursday on the importance of the option of “US mediation” between Ankara and the Kurds. Turkey launched a military attack in northern Syria this week, however, Washington confirmed that at this stage, Turkey did not cross the red line.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his first statement regarding the US withdrawal from Syria, strongly condemning the Turkish military action and offering humanitarian assistance to the Kurds. He stated “Israel condemns the Turkish invasion of Kurdish areas in Syria and warns against the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds by Turkey and its proxies. Israel is prepared to extend humanitarian assistance to the gallant Kurdish people.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to send the millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey to Europe if the EU continues showing opposition to the ongoing Turkey’s military offensive in Syria. “Hey EU, wake up. I say it again: if you try to frame our operation there as an invasion, our task is simple: we will open the doors and send 3.6 million migrants to you,” he said in a speech to MPs from his AKP party.
As soon as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the start of the military operation in northern Syria, there was a strong Western reaction, with governments demanding a halt. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was among them, condemning the Turkish attack “strongly,” and calling for the European Commission President to stop it.
After the start of the Turkish offensive against Kurdish areas in northern Syria, the risk of jihadists detained by the SDF escaping, or being released, has become a reality, prompting Washington to transfer the most dangerous jihadists to Iraq to ensure they are put on trial. A US defense official said on Wednesday night that the US military had taken responsibility for the detention of two Islamic State jihadi fighters previously held by Kurdish forces in Syria, in a decision made in the wake of the Turkish attack on northern Syria.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed Wednesday that Turkey had launched a long-planned military operation against Kurdish forces in northern Syria. The move comes two days after the start of the withdrawal of American troops from the region. According to Erdogan, the Turkish army will attack armed groups in the region, such as Daesh (IS) and the People’s Protection Army (YPG). The groups are considered terrorist groups by Ankara.
Up until now, I supported almost everything President Trump has on his agenda upto 2020 when we elect the President of the United States again. He reduced unemployment to a rate we have never seen in the last 50 years. Yes, underemployment is down, as well. However, I never realized that a part of his agenda, we would have the potential to create additional terrorist acts either in the United States or against US interests abroad.
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 US risks losing the support and trust of its allies. That’s what a section of the critics opine after President Donald Trump’s announcement Sunday that a smaller group of US forces are being withdrawn from northeastern Syria, allowing Turkey to enter the Kurdish-controlled areas at the border. The White House has, however, maintained that the US operation does not support the Turkish operation.
On Tuesday during an annual leadership meeting by the head of the IRGC Intelligence Organization Hossein Taub Soleimani revealed in a rare interview that an assassination attempt had been made on his life. The identities of the suspects has still not been revealed. The assassination was planned for several years. Through the assassination it was hoped that it would spark an internal Iranian power struggle and trigger a religious war within Iran. The suspects who are Iranian were sent abroad and trained to make the attack.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer met with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara Friday in attempt to sign a new agreement between Turkey and the European Union. Seehofer praised Turkey’s efforts in refugee matters, and said that Turkey could get more funding support from the EU. He said it was difficult to control immigration to Europe without Turkey’s support, and Germany was ready to help Turkey.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem called the US and Turkish military presence in northern Turkey illegal and demanded the immediate withdrawal of its troops from its territory. Speaking at the UN General Assembly’s annual summit in New York on Saturday, Waleed Muallem stressed that the US and Turkey’s refusal to withdraw from Syria could trigger a response from Syrian forces.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted his Russian and Iranian counterparts in Ankara on Monday. They came together for the fifth time since 2017 to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis. As the last major area under Syrian control, Idlib is under the spotlight. All three countries emphasized the need to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis and maintain its territorial integrity. The Ankara summit ended, but to no avail.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country cannot cope with a new wave of migrants from northern Syria. He said Turkey and the United States needed to establish a “safe area” in northern Syria as soon as possible.
The Iranian “Al-Quds” Corps fired several rockets from inside Syria towards Israel, in response to an air strike targeting the positions of Iraqi Shiite factions operating under its command in the province of Deir Ezzor. In a rare incident, the Israeli army spotted an attempt to launch several rockets from the vicinity of the Syrian capital, Damascus, toward Tel Aviv yesterday. Israel accused the militias under the command of the Quds Force, led by Qassem Soleimani, of launching the attack.
In a move that angered the Syrian government, Ankara, and Washington yesterday morning launched their first joint patrols in the area east of the Euphrates River, which is under the control of the Kurds, in implementation of an agreement reached to establish a “safe zone” and prevent the launch of a new and complex military operation. Damascus has promised to bring down the “safe zone.”
Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrilla group said on Monday it had shot down an Israeli drone as it crossed Lebanon’s southern border, a week after a limited exchange of fire. In light of the tense situation in the region, unknown warplanes targeted the positions of Iranian forces and armed militants loyal to them in the far east of Syria on Monday, killing 18 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Iran has revealed that the oil tanker Adrian Darya 1, which was released by Gibraltar and blacklisted by the United States, has reached its destination and sold its oil. The Iranian Foreign Ministry made the announcement yesterday, but did not name a buyer. The tanker had been released from Gibraltar last month.
The US Army Command says it has targeted al-Qaeda’s headquarters in Syria for rocket attacks. The attack took place in an area of Idlib province that is still controlled by opposition and rebels against the government of Bashar al-Assad. Russia, meanwhile, has announced the start of a ceasefire in Idlib on Saturday.
Almost two weeks after the Iranian oil tanker, Grace 1, was released from Gibraltar, the huge ship has yet to dock. It is still sailing around in the Mediterranean Sea waters, without a clear final destination. The USA nonetheless insists that it is convinced that the ship’s final destination is none other than Syria. Seemingly, Iran is keen on selling the oil on board, but the US is trying to prevent that. The ship is part of escalating geopolitical jousting between Tehran and Washington.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the Adrian Darya 1 oil tanker is heading to the port of Tartus in Syria. Announcing the news in a tweet, Pompeo said trusting Zarif was a mistake. Iran assured Britain that it was not going to Syria. The announcement has once again heightened the sensitivity of the removal of the Adrian Darya 1 tanker.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey’s agreement with the United States to establish a “safe zone” in northeast Syria was “a correct step,” and Ankara would not allow Washington to delay the plan, CNN reported on Thursday.
Kurdish officials in northeast Syria say a US-backed militia is withdrawing from an area on the Turkish border. The People’s Defense Units are said to have taken the first practical steps at the end of the week by withdrawing a number of fighters and weapons from two areas. The move is part of an agreement between Turkey and the United States. Turkey had threatened to launch an offensive into Syria if the People’s Defense Units didn’t leave the border and create a “safe zone.”
An Israeli drone fell in the Hezbollah dominated suburbs of Beirut and a second exploded near the ground. The Israeli military has yet to take blame for the attacks. The incident took place shortly after Israel had attacked Iranian forces and Shiites militia near Damascus in a large campaign which Israel claimed was preventive. Israel claimed that Iran and Syria had planned to attack at that moment from this location near Damascus in retaliation for the Israeli attack on Iranian weapon depots in Iraq. Israel says Iran was planning to make this attack with drones which were stored in these locations in Syria.
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In response to Israel missile attacks on Iran depots in Iraq, there was an attempted Iranian aerial attack from Syrian territory. Israel foiled two killer drones in an unprecedented aerial attack. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran is widening. Israel made a public announcement that they had bombed Iranian militia in Iraq and also that they had thwarted a planned attack from Syrian soil on Israel.
The Israeli military says its fighters have thwarted attacks by Iranian forces and Shiite militias on the outskirts of Damascus. Although Israeli military troops are not currently in Syria, the government and its military rarely take responsibility for such attacks.
Russia-Syria joint operation in Idlib has fueled tensions between Moscow and Ankara. The Turkish president, in a phone call with Vladimir Putin, criticized the “ceasefire violation in Idlib.” He called the operation a “national security” threat to Turkey.
Thousands of unregistered Syrian migrants and refugees will have to leave the Turkish city of Istanbul before the end of Tuesday, August 20, or face the prospect of expulsion. The city authorities have informed the undocumented immigrants about the need to return to the states where they registered, in an attempt to ease the pressures suffered by the largest cities in Turkey.
Syrian opposition forces have announced that two people were killed and two others wounded in attacks on a convoy that contained some Turkish Army elements. The attack did not harm Turkish troops and its armor. Turkish news sources also confirmed the attack by Syrian regime fighters on Turkish troops.
According to some reports, the Grace 1 oil tanker carries two million barrels of Iranian crude and has been seized for more than a month, “soon to be released,” and reports say that the tanker has changed its next destination. Deputy director of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization Jalil Islami said Britain was “interested” in the release of Iran’s seized tanker, adding that “documents have been exchanged between the two countries to help the seized vessel.”
US National Security Adviser John Bolton has traveled to meet with UK Prime Minster Boris Johnson’s top officials to “keep London in line with pressure on Iran and secure shipping in the Gulf.” Iran and the US-UK joint approach to the country are expected to be among the most important issues of Bolton’s meetings and talks with British officials.
The Syrian people are being bombed by planes and the UN remains silent. Opposition controlled towns across the southern countryside of Idlib and northern Hama are under fire. People there say they are being bombed into submission but that surrendering is not an option since they have nowhere else to go.
Twenty-four-year-old Bazzill Mohammed arrived in Turkey illegally eight years ago. He managed to get a Turkish ID but when he brought his wife to the hospital to deliver a baby a few years ago he was told the documents were fake. “I don’t have the ID, I’m scared when I’m going to work and going home. My wife and son don’t have Turkish IDs either. When I go to immigration they tell me to go and register in a different city but there aren’t many jobs there,” said Bazzil.