Sunday, Oct 20

Turkish concerns over N. Syria must be resolved

Revolutionary Guards commander, meanwhile, hails Ankara for ‘acting independently’ of US policy.
29.01.2019 - 16:45

Turkey’s anxieties regarding northern Syria must be resolved through negotiations, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday.

ASTANA PROCESS

At a press conference held in Tehran, Bahram Qassemi noted Ankara’s earlier pledges to respect Syria’s territorial integrity. “Turkey understandably has concerns about northern Syria, which must be resolved through negotiations within the framework of the Astana process,” he said.

At a 2017 meeting in the Kazakh capital, the three guarantor countries -- Russia, Turkey, and Iran -- agreed to establish a network of de-escalation zones inside Syria in which acts of aggression were to be expressly prohibited.

In a related development on Monday, Hossein Salami, second-in-command of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, was quoted as saying that Turkey appeared to be “acting independently” of the US. “Ankara now appears to be acting independently of US policy,” Salami said. “Meanwhile,” he added, “the US is moving towards extinction, despite its appearance of power -- a fact that is betrayed by its planned withdrawal from Syria.”

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected severity.