Iran opposes possible Turkish operation in northeast Syria
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iran Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh on Saturday underlined that Tehran "is opposed to any use of force on the soil of other countries in order to resolve disputes."
According to the foreign ministry, Khatibzadeh said that Tehran "views such military actions as a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of those countries and believes this will only further complicate the situation and intensify tensions."
Following a cabinet meeting in Ankara on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his country was preparing a new military operation to secure its southern border with Syria.
However, on Thursday, the National Security Council made no mention of a new ground offensive in northern Syria, the news website Bianet reported.
Since April, Turkish-backed forces have increased daily shelling and drone strikes in parts of northeast Syria and northern Aleppo.
Iran has previously opposed the Turkish cross-border offensive in Syria, saying that the Syrian Army should take areas currently controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
After Turkey conducted a cross-border attack against the SDF in northeastern Syria in October 2019, the Iranian Foreign Ministry also urged Turkey to immediately stop that offensive and withdraw its forces from the region.
"Iran does not want further destabilization in Syria," Nicholas Heras, the Deputy Director of the Human Security Unit at New Lines Institute in Washington DC, told Kurdistan 24.
"The war in Ukraine has weakened Russia, and the Iranians depend on relative stability in Syria to continue to seek to cement their presence in the country," he added.
"The SDF is not a direct threat to Iran, and it relieves pressure from ISIS on the Iran-backed elements of the pro-Assad forces in eastern Syria. A Turkish military campaign in northeast Syria upsets the status quo in Syria, which benefits Iran's long game," he concluded.