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Iran urges ‘swift pullout’ of Turkish forces from Syria

2 September 2016 18:14

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Iran has once again expressed concern over the continuation of Turkey’s military incursion into Syria, urging all countries to respect the Arab country’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“Although the fight against terrorism and efforts to maintain regional stability and security are an unchangeable and important principle in the foreign policy of peace-seeking countries in the region, this issue cannot and should not be used as a justification for violating the territorial integrity of another country by conducting military operations against that country without coordination with its central government, and by overlooking its national sovereignty,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Friday.

In the campaign against terrorism, it is “unacceptable to resort to approaches that shadow” the sovereignty of another country, he added.

The Iranian spokesperson warned that the continuation of Turkey’s military presence in Syria would further complicate the situation in the Middle East.

Qassemi emphasized that an escalation of clashes in the north of the Arab country Syria would “lead to the killing of more innocent civilians, and it is necessary that the Turkish army swiftly end the military operations in Syria.”

On August 24, Turkish special forces, tanks and jets backed by planes from the US-led coalition launched their first coordinated offensive in Syria. On the same day, Damascus denounced the intervention as a breach of its sovereignty.

Turkey says the incursion is meant to engage the Takfiri Daesh terrorists in the Syrian-Turkish border area as well as Kurdish fighters, who were themselves fighting Daesh.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on August 31 his country’s troops were to stay in Syria as long as “threats” against the Turkish state remained.

Joining the incursion, which has so far cost the lives of dozens of civilians, have been hordes of militants that Ankara has been supporting against the central government in Damascus for years.

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