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EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani said security in the volatile Syria-Turkey border areas can only be guaranteed through cooperation between the Syrian Army and Kurdish forces.

"We need to pave the way for the presence of Syrian Army in these regions … and Kurds in this region, which is in fact their own country, need to stand by the Syrian Army," he said in a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, stressing that American forces need to exit the region. 

The Turkish conflict with Kurdish insurgents, dating back to over 40 years, has spilled over to northern Syria, creating security concerns in the border area, according to Financial Tribune.

On Tuesday, Turkey said it had completed preparations for a military operation in northeastern Syria after the United States began pulling out troops, opening the way for a Turkish attack on Kurdish-led forces long allied to Washington, Reuters reported.

Although US President Donald Trump warned later in a tweet that he would "obliterate" Turkey's economy if it took action in Syria, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Tuesday Ankara will not bow to threats over its Syria plans. 

Rouhani acknowledged the Turkish government's right to try to meet its concerns over its southern borders, but said proper solutions need to be adopted in this regard. 

"The method that has been chosen today … will not be in the interest of the region," he said, calling on Turkey to exercise more care and patience and reconsider its policies, reported.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry had already reacted to the Turkish decision in a statement, saying it "believes that such an action would not only fail to end Turkey's security concerns but would cause widespread material and human damage".

The ministry also criticized Washington's "illegitimate" military presence in Syria, saying that the decision to pull out US forces should have been made much earlier.



More Pressing Issue 

Syria has already been engaged in a civil war on multiple fronts for over eight years, causing millions of people to flee home or become internally displaced. 

Rouhani said the region needs peace today, so that Syrian refugees can return to their countries more quickly.

He also drew attention to a more important crisis in Syria, which is ongoing in the flashpoint province of Idlib, the last remaining territory held by rebels seeking to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"The main issue is not north of Syria or east of Euphrates, but the primary problem is in the Idlib region where all terrorists have converged," the president said. 

Rouhani hoped regional countries would cooperate in this regard and cautioned Turkey to take greater care so as to prevent a new crisis in the region. 

Turkey and Iran, together with Russia, have launched an initiative, parallel with United Nations efforts, to bring peace to Syria. However, Tehran and Moscow backed Assad against the rebels, while Ankara, along with the United States, European and Arab allies, supported different rebel factions in the conflict. 


Kurds Turkey Iran Hassan Rouhani Syria cooperation security Kurdish forces Syrian army Border Security Syria Turkey border