Iran to Help Syria To Build Ties With Turkey

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said his country welcomes any role played by Iran in easing the tension between Syria and Turkey and achieving political progress.

The tension has been brewing for weeks after Ankara declared a plan to impose a buffer zone in northern Syria on the border with Turkey through a military operation against the Kurdish militias in that region.

Any solution should lead to Turkey’s withdrawal from Syrian territories, an end of Turkish attacks on Syria and a halt of Turkish support for the rebel groups in Syria, Mekdad said at a joint press conference held with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who arrived in Syria to discuss ways to defuse the tension.

Amir-Abdollahian reiterated Iran’s willingness and full readiness to mediate to prevent a military operation in northern Syria and promote good relations between the two neighboring countries.

His visit to Syria comes days after he met with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in Ankara.

Turkey has for long deemed the growing Kurdish influence in northern Syria as a threat to its security and has also carried out several military operations against Kurdish groups there, accusing them of having links to Kurdish separatist groups inside Turkey.

Assad’s Complain

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused the Turkish leadership of committing aggression against Syria, even as Turkey is planning a new offensive in northern Syria.

The pretexts Turkey uses to justify its aggression on Syrian territory are “false, misleading, and have nothing to do with reality,” Assad was quoted by the state SANA news agency as saying.

Turkey’s conduct has violated international law and principles including the UN Charter, he added.

Syria has repeatedly rejected Turkey’s plan to impose a buffer zone along the Turkish border in northern Syria.

Turkey has so far carried out several military operations against Kurdish militants in northern Syria, accusing them of having links to Kurdish separatist groups inside Turkey.

Meanwhile, a soldier and a civilian were killed and four people wounded in two attacks by militants of the Islamic State (IS) militant group in northern and central Iraq, security sources said.

In the northern province of Nineveh, a soldier was killed and two others wounded when a roadside bomb, believed to be planted by IS militants, went off near an Iranian security unit outside a village near the town of Tal Afar, some 70 km west of the provincial capital Mosul, an army officer told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

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The source said the attack took place when the troops were hunting down IS militants in the area.

In a separate incident, a civilian was killed and two others wounded when a roadside bomb, reportedly planted by IS militants, exploded in a village in the Tarmiyah area, some 30 km north of the capital Baghdad, Ihsan al-Rubaie from the Baghdad police told Xinhua.

Iraqi security forces have been fighting IS militants over the past months to crack down on their intensified activities.

The security situation in Iraq has been improving since the defeat of the IS in 2017. However, its remnants have since melted into urban centers, deserts, and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against the security forces and civilians.



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