“The Islamic Republic of Iran
has repeatedly declared that the fight against terrorist groups on Syrian soil must take place in coordination with the central government, and must respect the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as a fundamental principle of the international law,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Thursday.
“We have always underlined that the fight against terrorism
is an international obligation, and regional states need to combat this ominous phenomenon through joint cooperation,” he pointed out.
Qasemi’s remarks came in response to the Turkish army’s deployment of military forces and tanks to the northern Syrian border city of Jarablus, located in Syria’s strategic province of Aleppo and some 398 kilometers (248 miles) northeast of the capital Damascus.
Shortly after the operation was launched on Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was meant to confront such “terror groups” as Daesh
and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) – a US-backed Kurdish group based in Syria – that “constantly threaten” Turkey. The offensive was launched in coordination with the so-called US-led military coalition purportedly fighting Daesh
Turkish army tanks make their way towards the northern Syrian border city of Jarablus on August 24, 2016. ©Reuters
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said later in the day that Ankara’s military operation in Jarablus would continue until fighters from PYD-affiliated Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) return to the eastern bank of the Euphrates.
Speaking in an interview with private Haberturk television news
network, Yildirim said it was necessary to purge Jarablus of the Kurdish fighters, noting that Ankara had received Washington’s green light during US Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Turkey.
Biden stated on Wednesday that the US administration had made it clear to the US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria that they must not cross the western bank of the Euphrates river.
“They cannot, will not and under no circumstances (will) get American support if they do not keep that commitment,” he commented.
The Syrian government has condemned Ankara’s incursion as an “aggression” against the Arab country.