Damascus, July 2 (AP) Iran’s foreign minister on Saturday condemned an Israeli airstrike on Syria earlier in the day and said Tehran opposes any military operation by Turkey in northern Syria.
Hossein Amirabdollahian made the comments at the start of a visit to Damascus, the Syrian capital, where he was to discuss mutual relations and regional affairs with senior Syrian officials.
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Iran has been one of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s staunchest supporters, sending thousands of fighters from across the region to aid its troops in Syria’s 11-year conflict. The war killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced half of the country’s 23 million people before the war.
Amirabdollahian’s visit came hours after Israel carried out an airstrike on a Syrian coastal village near the border with Lebanon, injuring two people, Syrian state media reported.
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It also comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly said he was planning a major military operation to create a 30-kilometre (19-mile) deep buffer zone inside Syria along the border. Turkish.
He said he would do so through a cross-border incursion against US-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters – an attempt that failed in 2019.
“We understand the concerns of our neighbor Turkey, but we oppose any military measure in Syria,” Amirabdollahian said, adding that Iran was trying to resolve the “misunderstanding between Turkey and Syria through dialogue.”
Analysts said Erdogan was taking advantage of the war in Ukraine to achieve his own goals in Syria. Turkey agreed this week to drop its opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, saying the Nordic countries had agreed to crack down on groups Ankara sees as threats to national security, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and its Syrian extension.
Turkey has demanded that Finland and Sweden extradite wanted people and lift arms restrictions imposed after Turkey’s 2019 military incursion into northeast Syria.
Amirabdollahian slammed Israel, saying its airstrikes are trying to destabilize Syria and show that the country lacks security.
The Israeli attack was the first since a June 10 airstrike on the international airport in Damascus, the Syrian capital, which caused extensive damage to infrastructure and runways and rendered the main runway unusable. The airport was closed for two weeks and flights resumed on June 23.
The official SANA news agency said Israeli warplanes flying over northern Lebanon fired missiles at several chicken farms in the village of Hamidiyeh, south of the coastal city of Tartous. The attack happened a few kilometers (miles) north of the border with Lebanon.
SANA said two people, including a woman, were injured and there was material damage.
Israel has staged hundreds of strikes against targets in Syria over the years, but rarely acknowledges or discusses such operations. Israel says it is targeting bases of Iran-allied militias, such as Hezbollah, which has fighters deployed in Syria fighting alongside Assad’s government forces and shipping weapons believed to be destined for the militias.
The Damascus International Airport strike marked a major escalation in Israel’s campaign, further heightening tensions between Israel on the one hand and Iran and its Lebanese ally militant group Hezbollah on the other. . (AP)
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