Continued Incursion of Turkish Forces Into Syria Worrisome

Continued Incursion of Turkish Forces Into Syria WorrisomeContinued Incursion of Turkish Forces Into Syria Worrisome

Iran once again expressed concern over the continuation of Turkey's military incursion into Syria, urging all countries to respect the Arab country's national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"Although the fight against terrorism and efforts to maintain regional stability and security are an unchangeable and important principle in the foreign policy of peace-seeking countries in the region, this issue cannot and should not be used as a justification for violating the territorial integrity of another country by conducting military operations on that country's soil without coordination with its central government, and by overlooking its national sovereignty," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Friday, Press TV reported.

In the campaign against terrorism, it is "unacceptable to resort to approaches that undermine" the sovereignty of another country, he added.

The spokesman warned that the continuation of Turkey's military presence in Syria would further complicate the situation in the region.

Qasemi emphasized that an escalation of clashes in northern Syria would "lead to the killing of more innocent civilians, so it is necessary that the Turkish Army swiftly end the military operations in Syria."

On August 24, Turkish special forces, tanks and jets backed by planes from the US-led coalition launched their first coordinated offensive in Syria. On the same day, Damascus denounced the intervention as a breach of its sovereignty.

Turkey says the incursion is meant to push back the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group in the Syrian-Turkish border area as well as Kurdish fighters, who are also fighting IS.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on August 31 his country's troops were to stay in Syria as long as "threats" against the Turkish state remained.

Hordes of militants that Ankara supported against the central government in Damascus for years have joined the incursion, which has so far cost the lives of dozens of civilians.