Syria: Erdogan no support from Iran or Russia for offensive in Damascus


Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, visiting Iran, said today that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has failed to get Iranian or Russian support for a military offensive in Syria, which has been threatening to start since May.

Erdogan’s goals “were not achieved after discussions and views stated by Iranian and Russian friends,” Faisal Mekdad told a press conference in Tehran.

Russia, Iran and Turkey are the main protagonists in the conflict that broke out in Syria in 2011, Tehran and Moscow support the regime of Bashar al-Assad and Ankara supports the rebels.

On Tuesday, at the summit in Tehran, the Turkish head of state, who wants to create a 30-kilometer buffer zone along the Syrian border, showed determination to launch “soon” a new military operation against the Kurdish forces that control the zone.

“It must be clear to everyone that there is no place in the region for separatist terrorist movements and their associates. Soon we will continue our fight against terrorist organizations,” warned Erdogan, who considers the Kurdish fighters “terrorists”.

During a meeting with the President of Turkey, the leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stressed the opposition of the Iranians to a Turkish operation in Syria, considering it “harmful” for the region, and called for a dialogue between Ankara, Damascus, Moscow and Tehran.

Moscow had also asked Ankara to refrain from the military operation.

In a joint statement after the summit, the three countries implicitly support Ankara in the fight against the Kurds, demonstrating their “willingness to oppose separatist ambitions that could undermine Syria’s sovereignty and integrity” and threaten the security of neighboring countries.

For the head of Syrian diplomacy, any Turkish incursion would trigger “another kind of conflict” between the two countries.

His Iranian counterpart also affirmed the need for the withdrawal of US forces stationed in the regions of Syria east of the Euphrates River, echoing a call already made by Ayatollah Khamenei on Tuesday during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The presence of the US military in the east of the Euphrates is one of the problems in the region,” said Amir-Abdollahian.

Source: With Agencies

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