IranMiddle EastSyriaTurkey

Rouhani Urges Turkey to Reconsider Decision on Syria

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on the Turkish government to think twice before carrying out a military operation inside Syria, adding that Turkey should address the concerns about its southern borders in the right manner.

Speaking at a weekly cabinet session on Wednesday, Rouhani deplored tha fact that the flames of war still exist in some parts of the region, such as Yemen, near the Mediterranean Sea, or along the Turkey-Syria common border.

He said the Turkish government does have the right to allay its concerns about its southern borders, stressing, though, that a correct method and policy should be adopted in this regard.

“During the trilateral summit of Iran, Russia and Turkey, we announced explicitly that the solution to (establishment of) security at Syria’s northern borders and south of Turkey would be possible only with the presence of the Syrian army, and we must prepare all the grounds for the Syrian army’s presence in those regions,” the Iranian president underscored.

Rouhani also emphasized that the US forces must pull out of Syria and that the Kurdish forces should stand by the Syrian army in those areas, which are part of the Kurds’ own country.

“The approach that has been adopted today (by Turkey) and the secret agreements that have been made would not benefit the region, and we call on our friend and brother, Turkey, and its government, to be more careful and have more patience in such affairs and reconsider the path that has been chosen,” the Iranian president added.

Rouhani reiterated that Turkey’s plan for military action in Syria is not appropriate and beneficial for the region, because the region is in need of calm and the Syrian refugees need to return home immediately.

He went on to say that the main subject at present was not the situation in northern Syria or the eastern parts of the Euphrates, saying the region’s overriding concern is “Idlib, where all terrorists have gathered”.

The president expressed hope that assistance from regional countries as well as more caution by the government of Turkey would prevent a new problem in the region.

Turkey seeks to establish a 32-kilometer “safe zone” in northern Syria, and has stressed that it wants the Kurdish-led militants known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG) cleared from the region.

Neither Turkey nor the US has authorization from the Syrian government for their activities in the Arab country.

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