• Iran calls for immediate cessation of Turkey's operations in Syria

Iran says it is closely monitoring Turkish military assault on Syria's northwestern region of Afrin, calling for the swift cessation of the operation in the Arab country.

According to Press TV, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Sunday the Islamic Republic hoped the operation in Afrin would end immediately to prevent the escalation of crisis in Turkey-Syria border areas.

"The continuation of the crisis in Afrin may lead to restrengthening of Takfiri-terrorist groups in Syria's northern areas and once again fan the flames of war and destruction in this country," he added.

Turkey launched a new air and ground operation, called "Operation Olive Branch," around the area of Afrin on Friday to oust the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara views as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday condemned Turkey's military operation in Afrin, stating that the offensive was part of Ankara's support for Takfiri terrorist groups operating inside the conflict-plagued Arab country.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson further stressed the importance of preserving Syria's territorial integrity, respecting its national sovereignty and preventing any measure, which would intensify humanitarian crisis in the country.

Iran expects all countries, particularly Turkey, to pursue the settlement of the Syrian crisis through political approaches and continue to play a constructive role and fulfill their responsibilities in this regard, Qassemi said.

He emphasized that the crisis in Syria is rooted in the illegal meddlesome approaches of extra-regional powers and the Israeli regime.

Qassemi said Syria's humanitarian crisis would go on as long as the US and its allies continued their illegal presence in the Arab country contrary to the will of its legitimate government.

In a statement on Saturday, the Russian Foreign Ministry voiced concern about the Turkish military operation in Syria’s Kurdish-controlled Afrin, calling on the sides to exercise restraint.

SS

Jan 21, 2018 19:11 UTC
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