Iran says Turkish plan for Syria military bases unacceptable

Iran on Monday said Turkey’s plans to establish military bases in Syria were unacceptable, the London based pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi as saying.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday the Turkish military would set up 12 observation posts inside Syria and would restart its offensive Kurdish forces in northeast Syria once a temporary ceasefire agreed with the United States expired on Tuesday.

Turkey launched a military operation on Oct. 9 to clear the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from areas south of its border. The Turkish government considers the SDF and other Kurdish-led groups in northern Syria to be a security threat due to their links to outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been fighting for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey for more than 30 years.

The ceasefire gives the predominately-Kurdish SDF until Tuesday evening to withdraw from the buffer zone Turkey is looking to create. 

“The Turks can have any bases and can do anything on their own territory and within their borders, but if you mean … establishing Turkish bases in Syria, this is unacceptable,” Mousavi told Iranian state television.

Iran, a main backer of the Syrian government, has repeatedly called for an immediate halt to Turkey’s military offensive in Syria.