Iran’s top diplomat visits Syria as the possibility of a fresh Turkish offensive looms

Iran’s top diplomat visits Syria as the possibility of a fresh Turkish offensive looms
Update: 04 July 2022 17:32
A+ A-
Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian says they “understand” Turkey’s concerns, but Tehran is against “any military measure in Syria”

Amirabdollahain visited Damascus on what he said was a mission to “prevent a fresh crisis in the region” according to Iran’s official news agency IRNA. The agency quoted the Foreign Minister as saying, “developments are taking place in the region that requires the Islamic Republic of Iran to constantly play a constructive role.”

The Foreign Minister spoke to reporters upon arriving at Damascus. He said Iran “understands Turkey’s concerns on security issues and strongly opposes any military attempts with any justification,” adding that Tehran was working to solve the existing misunderstandings between Turkey and Syria through “diplomacy and political dialogue.”

Amirabdollahain met Syria’s embattled President Bashar Assad in Damascus. According to Syria’s state news agency SANA, President Assad told the Iranian Foreign Minister “Turkish allegations to justify its aggression on Syrian territory are false, misleading, and have nothing to do with reality,” Assad also emphasized that Turkey’s military presence in Syria is in violation of international law.

Amirabdollahain’s visit to Damascus comes on the heels of his visit to Ankara. During a joint presser with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on June 27, Iran’s top diplomat said “we understand that maybe a special operation might be needed,” adding that “Turkey’s security concerns must be addressed fully and permanently.”

Ankara considers Kurdish separatists situated in northeastern Syria to be terrorists. Turkey launched three major military offensives along the border, mainly targeting Kurdish-administrated areas. Syrian government forces previously teamed up with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) during the third incursion known as “Operation Peace Spring” which Turkey launched in 2019. In an interview given to Reuters in June, SDF’s commander Mazloum Abdi signaled that his troops would once again “coordinate with Syrian government troops to fend off any Turkish invasion of the north.”