Iran’s prime diplomat in Syria, slams Israel, Turkish threats

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DAMASCUS, Syria — Iran’s prime diplomat condemned on Saturday Israel’s newest airstrike on Syria and criticized latest threats from Turkey about one other deliberate incursion by Ankara into northern Syria.

International Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian’s remarks got here in the beginning of his go to to Syria, the place he was anticipated to debate mutual relations and regional affairs with prime Syrian officers.

Iran has been certainly one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s strongest backers, sending hundreds of fighters from across the area to assist his troops in Syria’s 11-year battle. The warfare has killed tons of of hundreds and displaced half the nation’s pre-war inhabitants of 23 million.

Amirabdollahian’s go to got here hours after Israel carried out an airstrike on a coastal Syrian village close to the border with Lebanon, wounding two individuals, in keeping with state media experiences in Syria.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lately stated he’s planning one other main army cross-border incursion into Syria to create a 30-kilometer (19 mile) deep buffer zone alongside the border with Turkey, promising to battle U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters for the territory.

Erdogan’s try in 2019 to create the buffer failed, although Turkish troops are deployed inside Syria following earlier incursions to prop up anti-Assad Syrian opposition fighters. Ankara views the U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters as terrorists allied with Kurdish insurgents inside Turkey’s borders.

“We perceive the considerations of our neighbor Turkey however we oppose any army measure in Syria,” Amirabdollahian stated, including that Iran is attempting to resolve the “misunderstanding between Turkey and Syria via dialogue.”

Amirabdollahian met later Saturday with Assad, who advised the Iranian envoy that Turkey’s “pretexts to justify its aggression in Syria are false, deceptive and don’t have anything to do with actuality.” Assad’s workplace additionally quoted the president as saying that Turkey’s army presence in Syria violates worldwide legislation.

Analysts have stated Erdogan is benefiting from the warfare in Ukraine to push his personal targets in Syria. Turkey agreed this week to elevate its opposition to Sweden and Finland becoming a member of NATO, saying the Nordic nations had agreed to crack down on teams that Ankara deems nationwide safety threats, together with the Kurdistan Employees’ Celebration, or PKK, and its Syrian extension.

Turkey has demanded that Finland and Sweden extradite wished people and elevate arms restrictions imposed on Ankara after Turkey’s 2019 army incursion into northeast Syria.

Amirabdollahian condemned Israel for placing Syria. The Saturday morning assault was the primary since a June 10 airstrike on the worldwide airport in Damascus brought on vital harm on the airport and rendered its principal runway unusable. The airport was closed for 2 weeks for repairs earlier than flights resumed on June 23.

Syria’s state information company SANA stated Israeli warplanes flying over northern Lebanon fired missiles towards a number of rooster farms within the village of Hamidiyeh, south of the coastal metropolis of Tartus. The assault occurred just a few kilometers (miles) north of the border with Lebanon.

SANA stated two individuals, together with a lady, had been wounded and that there was materials harm.

Through the years, Israel has staged tons of of strikes towards targets in Syria however not often acknowledges or discusses such operations. Israel says it targets bases of Iran-allied militias, such because the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group, which has fighters deployed in Syria combating on the facet of Assad’s authorities forces and ships arms believed to be certain for the militias.

The June strike on the Damascus Worldwide Airport strike marked a serious escalation in Israel’s marketing campaign, additional ratcheting up tensions between Israel on one facet, and Iran and Hezbollah on the opposite.

Related Press author Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed.

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