• Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi
    Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi

Iran has denounced a US plan to set up a militant force near Syria’s border with Turkey as “blatant interference” in the Arab country’s domestic affairs, urging Washington to reverse its “destructive” policies in the Middle East.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday that the US’s plan is a “clear example” of interference in Syria’s internal affairs, which complicates the crisis, leads to instability and fans the flames of the conflict there.

The US announced Sunday that it will work, along with a coalition of its allies purportedly fighting Daesh, with US-backed militants of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to set up a new 30,000-strong “border security” force.

The force would operate along the Turkish border with Iraq and within Syria along the Euphrates River.

Qassemi further said the announcement comes at a time when the Syrian army and its allies have made sweeping gains in their fight against the terrorist groups of Daesh and al-Nusra Front.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, together with the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey, is making efforts to contain the flames of the crisis through the Astana peace talks and the creation of de-escalation zones,” Qassemi said, noting that the trio has so far made significant achievements.

The Iranian official further stressed the time is ripe for the US to change its “interventionist and destructive” policy in the region, withdraw its forces from Syria as soon as possible and let the Syrian people decide their own fate.

Washington’s plan has drawn angry reactions from Syria, Turkey and Russia. Syria views the formation of such a border force as an assault on its sovereignty.

The US and its allies back militants fighting to topple the Syrian government. American warplanes have also been bombing Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

The airstrikes have on many occasions resulted in civilian casualties, seriously damaged Syria's infrastructure and failed to fulfill their declared aim of countering terror.


EA

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Jan 16, 2018 13:45 UTC
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