Oct 08, 2019 13:13 UTC
  • Iran: US should have ended Syria presence long time ago

Iran has once again denounced Washington’s “illegitimate” military presence in Syria, saying the decision for the United States to pull its forces out should have been made a long time ago.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry expressed hope that Washington’s plan to withdraw its forces from the northern parts of Syria would contribute to the restoration of peace and stability to the Arab country.

Tehran believes the US should have made the decision to “end the occupation of Syrian territories and withdraw its military forces from the country much sooner.”

In a major U-turn in the US military policy, the White House announced in a statement on Sunday that the US would be withdrawing its forces from northern Syria, clearing the path for an expected Turkish operation against the Kurdish militants, who had long enjoyed Washington’s support.

“The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation,” said the statement, adding that the American troops “will no longer be in the immediate area,” without clarifying whether they will completely leave Syria or will be redeployed within the country.

US President Donald Trump later said in a tweet that it was too costly to keep supporting the Kurdish militants in the region, which Ankara views as terrorists linked to local autonomy-seeking militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Elsewhere in its statement, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Tehran was “closely monitoring the worrisome news of a possible entry of Turkish forces into Syria.”

The Islamic Republic, it added “is opposed to any possible military operation” because it believes such a move “would not only fail to soothe Turkey’s security concerns, but would also result in massive material and human losses.”

The Foreign Ministry also voiced Iran’s readiness to help arrange an immediate contact between Turkish and Syrian officials so they can ease the existing concerns peacefully.

Meanwhile, Russia has said that it was not informed in advance about the US’s Syria withdrawal plan and that it was closely watching the situation there.

“No one has informed us. You and us don’t know yet what troops are being withdrawn from there, to what extent and are they withdrawn at all. You know, there have been different statements about troops pullout from different parts of the world that have not been confirmed,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

“This is why we are following developments of the situation very attentively,” he added.