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Iran ready to help Turkey with its concerns in Syria

09 February 2018

While Le Drian did not directly call for Turkey to withdraw, he mentioned that defending its borders "does not mean killing civilians" and that the country "should not add war to war".

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu paid a surprise visit to the Iranian capital Tehran on Wednesday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has urged Turkey to respect the sovereignty of Syria, a local media reported on Thursday.

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"Unfortunately, following their failures in Iraq, some powers have turned to Syria with the aim of changing the geography of the region", he noted.

According to Anadolu Agency, the operation Olive Branch was launched to clear Kurdistan Workers' Party (PYD/PKK) and Islamic State (IS) terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria on January 20.

The air strikes came amid the ongoing military showdown between the Turkish forces and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the countryside of Afrin.

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"We oppose the presence in Syria by the Americans who have incorrect goals in the region and are thinking of disintegrating Syria", Rouhani told Iranian and foreign reporters in a press conference in Tehran.

They also said the Syrian people alone shall determine the future of their country "without external pressure or interference, in line with Syria's worldwide rights and obligations".

For his part, Cavusoglu blamed the US for hatching new plots in the region to undermine the growing ties between Ankara and Tehran, calling for close cooperation to thwart those schemes.

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In Turkey, Tillerson will meet with senior Turkish officials to discuss "a range of bilateral and regional issues", said the US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert in a statement.

Iran ready to help Turkey with its concerns in Syria