Offensives in Afrin to bring back terrorists to Syria - Iran
Iran’s FM Spokesman Ghasemi called on Turkey to end its major offensive in northwestern Syrian city of Afrin, saying the operation would bring back instability and terrorists to the Arab country, AzVision.az reports citing the Iranian Mehr News Agency.
Ghasemi urged Turkish government to immediately end its offensive in Syria, adding “the continuation of Turkey’s military operation will facilitate the return of instability and terrorism to Syria.”
He further called on Turkey to follow up all Syrian-related developments within the framework of Astana peace process.
The Iranian diplomat had previously urged Ankara to protect the territorial integrity of Syria and to avoid the escalation of crisis in the Middle Eastern country.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched ‘Operation Olive Branch’, its second major military intervention in Syria since 2011, in a bid to eliminate the US-backed YPG, which Ankara views as a terror organization as well as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK). Both sides have suffered casualties during the operation that has come under strong criticism by Damascus.
The operation in Afrin – bordering Turkey's Hatay and Kilis provinces – was widely expected in the wake of Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, which cleared Daesh terrorists from Turkey's border between Aug. 24, 2016, and March 2017.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.