Iran urges ‘swift pullout’ of Turkish forces from Syria

Iran urges ‘swift pullout’ of Turkish forces from Syria
Turkish army tanks make their way toward the Syrian border town of Jarablus, Syria August 24, 2016

Iran has once again expressed concern over the continuation of Turkey’s military incursion into Syria, urging all countries to respect the 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.”

Operation “Euphrates Shield”, in which Turkish troops and tanks entered Syria in support of rebels for the first time, began on Aug. 24 with the swift capture of Jarablus, a town a few km (miles) inside Syria that was held by Islamic State.

Turkey has long said it wants a “buffer zone” in the area, although it has not used the term during this incursion. As well as driving out the ultra-hardline Islamists, it also wants to prevent Kurdish militias from taking territory that will let them join up cantons they control in northeast and northwest Syria.

Iranian calls raise many questions, as the Islamic republic itself is an active part in the Syrian crisis’s events.

Iran has backed Bashar al-Assad since the first days of the uprising and helped him to keep his authority and position.

Iran gave Assad regime economical aids to prevent its collapse, but more important aided it militarily.

Iranian and allied Shiite militias fought with Assad regime nearly in every front in Syria and were responsible for countable crimes against the Syrian civilians.