TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, held talks on a range of issues, including the latest developments in northeastern Syria ahead of Turkey's planned military operation in the Arab country.
- Politics news -
In a telephone conversation on Monday night, Zarif and Cavusoglu exchanged views about the most recent developments as Turkish army forces amassed near a border town in northeastern Syria on Monday evening.
Cavusoglu stressed his country's respect for Syria's territorial integrity and said the Turkish military action in the area would be temporary.
Zarif, for his part, voiced his opposition to any military action and stressed the necessity for Turkey to respect Syria's national sovereignty and the need to combat terrorism and bring stability and security to Syria.
He also described the Adana agreement between Turkey's then-president Suleyman Demirel and Syria's late president Hafez al-Assad as the best way for the two countries to address their concerns.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that the Turkish army on Monday evening "launched an assault on a number of areas in Hasaka northeastern countryside."
The agency added the reported information indicates that the aggression aimed for a site near Simalka illegitimate corridor on the Turkish-Syrian-Iraqi borders and Tal Tawil in the countryside of al-Malkiya area where Qasad Kurdish militias (SDF forces) are positioned.
The report also said that the aggression caused only material damages, and no casualties were reported.
US Administration officials said Monday that President Donald Trump spoke directly with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on endorsing for a Turkish military incursion into northern Syria on Sunday. And the officials indicated that the 100 to 150 United States military personnel deployed to that area would be pulled back in advance of any Turkish operation but that they would not be completely withdrawn from Syria, The New York Times reported.
It was unclear how extensive the Turkish operation would be, or whether Turkish forces would clash with the American-backed Kurds.
Turkey seeks to establish a 32-kilometer "safe zone" in northern Syria, and has stressed that it wants the YPG cleared from the region.
Neither Turkey nor the US has authorization from the Syrian government for their activities in the Arab country.