Iran in Regular Talks with Turkey on Syria: Spokesman
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Tehran is in constant negotiations with Ankara about the latest developments in Syria.
“We have been in contact and consultation with the Turkish friends regularly,” Qassemi told reporters during his weekly press conference in Tehran on Monday.
“Syria’s affairs have always been important to us and we closely monitor them,” he added.
The spokesman further pointed to Turkey’s recent ground incursion into Syrian Kurdish city of Afrin and said Iran believes that the operation should immediately stop.
In a statement on Sunday, Qassemi had said that Tehran expects Ankara, as one of the guarantors of ceasefire in Syria, to remain committed to political processes to resolve the Syrian crisis, particularly the Astana peace negotiations, and play a constructive role in settling the crisis.
Turkey said on Sunday that it had begun a ground incursion into Afrin a day after intense aerial bombardment that signaled the opening of hostilities in a new phase of Ankara’s involvement in the war across the border.
The launch of the ground campaign by the Turkish military, alongside Syrian rebel factions under Ankara’s tutelage, came on the second day of a military offensive called “Operation Olive Branch” by the Turkish government, with dozens of airstrikes hitting more than 150 targets in the Kurdish-dominated district from late on Saturday afternoon.
Kurdish militias shelled the Turkish province of Kilis across the border in response. A spokesman for the Kurdish militias that control the district said they had blocked the Turkish army-led initial attempt at a ground incursion on Sunday morning.