Iran ‘concerned’ by Turkish assault on northern Syria

Al-Monitor- Iran’s Foreign Ministry has expressed hope that Turkey’s airstrikes against the US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces in the northern Syrian city of Afrin will come to a speedy end. The statement falls short of an outright condemnation and shows the complex nature of Syria’s civil war.

Bahram Ghassemi, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Jan. 21, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is monitoring closely and with concern the recent events in the city of Afrin, Syria, and is hoping these operations quickly come to an end and stop the deepening or spreading of the crisis on the border between Syria and Turkey. The continuation of the crisis in Afrin can strengthen terrorist-takfiri groups in northern Syria and inflame the fires of war once again in this country.”

Ghassemi continued, “The Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizes the protection of the territorial integrity of Syria and respecting the national government of this country and preventing the intensification of a humanitarian crisis.” He added that Iran expects Turkey to remain committed to the Astana peace talks that aim to resolve differences in Syria.

Turkey’s latest assault is aimed at the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, a mostly Syrian

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