EghtesdaOnline: Iran’s top diplomat stressed the need for continued talks between Turkey and Syria to address Ankara’s concerns along its borders with the Arab country.
“Resorting to military ground operations will not only not help address the problems, but will also cause damage and complicate the situation,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday evening, the foreign ministry reported.
He added that the Islamic Republic understands Ankara’s concerns with regard to Kurdish groups in Syria, and is ready to help the political settlement of differences between the two neighboring countries.
The Turkish foreign minister briefed Amir-Abdollahian about the current situation and his country’s positions and appreciated Iran’s constructive role.
The two agreed to continue such consultations.
Turkey has recently hinted at the possibility of ground operations in northern Syria and Iraq.
"The operation can begin tomorrow, next week, even later, at any time. The situation is being assessed by the Turkish military and intelligence," Turkish presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said Tuesday, according to Sputnik.
He added that his country continues to maintain dialogue with Damascus.
Turkey has been targeting Kurdish militant groups in Syria and Iraq with air strikes since November 20, following a fatal bomb attack in Istanbul, although Kurdish forces have denied involvement.
Ankara pledged to continue its operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, as well as the People's Defense Units in Syria, which are considered to be terrorist organizations by Turkish authorities.
UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen on Tuesday warned of a dangerous escalation in Syria.
Such an escalation would not only compound the devastating harm already meted out to Syrian civilians, it would also further endanger regional stability, while listed terrorist groups that are subdued but not defeated would immediately take advantage of any fresh instability, he told the Security Council in a briefing.
Pedersen called "loudly and clearly" on all actors to restrain themselves and engage in serious efforts to reinstate the calm, move toward a nationwide cease-fire and a cooperative approach to counter-terrorism in line with international humanitarian law.
Turkish Ambassador to the United Nations Feridun Sinirlioglu said the PKK and YPG were “terrorists” organizations that pose an important threat to the national security of their country.
He added that Turkey would continue to carry out counter-terrorism operations to protect its people and ensure border security, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions on the fight against terrorism.
At the Tuesday session, Deputy Permanent Representative of Syria at the UN, al-Hakam Dandi, urged the Security Council “to compel Turkish regime to end its illegal military presence on Syrian lands.”