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Iranian Cleric Warns Turkey against ‘New Quagmire’ in Syria

Tehran’s Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami deplored Turkey’s recent military operation in northeastern Syria as an act of aggression against a sovereign state and said Ankara should avoid creating a new quagmire for themselves.

Addressing a gathering of worshippers in Tehran on Friday, Ayatollah Khatami expressed concerns over the consequences of the Turkish military operation in Syrian territories and said, “What is clear is that this move by Turkey is aggression against an independent country.”

“…We demand an immediate halt to the operation and the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Syrian soil,” the cleric added.

“I have a piece of advice for the Turkish government,” he said, adding that Saudi Arabia, as a servant of the US, obeyed the White House and fell into the Yemeni quagmire.

Turkey should be careful not to be trapped by the US, the cleric said, adding that the Turkish invasion of northern Syria occurred immediately after the American troops withdrew from the area.

“The Turkish authorities should be careful not to create a new quagmire for themselves,” Ayatollah Khatami stated.

Turkey moved into northern Syria on Wednesday after the US President, Donald Trump, pulled American troops out of the area.

According to media reports, casualties are increasing as Turkey presses on with its cross-border offensive on Kurdish-held areas of Syria.

At least 11 civilians have died and dozens of fighters from the Kurdish-led SDF and pro-Turkish factions have been killed, the reports say.

The first death of a Turkish soldier was confirmed by Turkey’s military.

Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes, amid growing international criticism of the offensive.

Iranian authorities, including President Hassan Rouhani, had urged the Ankara government to avoid taking military action in Syrian territories and reconsider its decision.

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