Military Action in Syria Needs Damascus Approval

Military Action in Syria Needs Damascus ApprovalMilitary Action in Syria Needs Damascus Approval

Iran's Foreign Ministry said any military action in Syria against foreign-backed militants must be coordinated with the Damascus government.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly declared that the fight against terrorist groups on Syrian soil must take place in coordination with the central government and must respect the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity as a fundamental principle of international law," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Thursday, Press TV reported. "We have always underlined that the fight against terrorism is an international obligation and regional states need to combat this ominous phenomenon through joint cooperation."

Qasemi's remarks came in response to the Turkish Army's deployment of military forces and tanks to the northern Syrian border city of Jarablus, located in Syria's strategic province of Aleppo some 398 kilometers northeast of the capital Damascus.

Shortly after the operation was launched on Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was meant to confront such terror groups as the self-styled Islamic State and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) that "constantly threaten" Turkey.

The offensive was launched in coordination with the so-called US-led military coalition against IS.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said later in the day that Ankara's military operation in Jarablus would continue until fighters from PYD-affiliated Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) return to the eastern bank of Euphrates River.

Speaking in an interview with private Haberturk television news network, Yildirim said it was necessary to purge Jarablus of the Kurdish fighters, noting that Ankara had received Washington's green light during US Vice President Joe Biden's recent visit to Turkey.

Biden stated on Wednesday that the US administration had made it clear to the US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria that they must not cross the western bank of the Euphrates River.

"They cannot, will not and under no circumstances [will] get American support if they do not keep that commitment," he commented. The Syrian government has condemned Ankara's incursion as an "aggression" against the Arab country.