Iran is urging Turkey to not go ahead with an attack on the Syrian Kurds ahead of the expected Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria, following US President Donald Trump's abandonment of the ally who fought along the US against the so-called Islamic State,
Iranian state TV reported on Tuesday that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to express Tehran's opposition to the anticipated Turkish operation. Foreign Minister of Iran has urged Turkey to respect Syria's integrity and sovereignty.
Iran, Turkey, and Russia have been working together as part of the so-called Astana group on the Syrian civil war, talks that have run parallel to U.N. efforts to find a solution to the conflict.
US President Donald Trump justifying his decision to abandon the ally Kurdish fighters in Syria as fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from "endless war" in the Middle East, despite being heavily critiqued for his move to sacrifice a US ally and subsequently undermining the credibility of the country. The US President announced that the US troops would move aside for an expected attack on Syrian Kurds by Turkey, who have stood alongside the US for five years to fight ISIS. Trump further boasting of his "unmatched wisdom" threatened to "totally destroy and obliterate" the Turkish economy if they went too far.
The move of the Trump administration draws a shift in the US foreign policy, effectively making space for Turkey to attack the US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces, who fought the Islamic State with US' advice and arms. It was the latest example of Trump's approach to foreign policy that critics condemn as impulsive, that he sometimes reverses and that frequently is untethered to the advice of his national security aides. Trump said he understood the criticism from fellow GOP leaders but disagreed. He said he could also name supporters, but he didn't.
Pentagon and State Department officials held out the possibility of persuading Turkey to abandon its expected invasion. U.S. officials said they had seen no indication that Turkey had begun a military operation by late Monday. Trump, in late afternoon remarks to reporters, appeared largely unconcerned at the prospect of Turkish forces attacking the Kurds, who include a faction he described as "natural enemies" of the Turks.
(With agency inputs)