Iranian top leader warns against any military action in N. Syria

This handout picture provided by the office of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows him (left) meeting with Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan alongside Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi (right) in Tehran on July 19, 2022. (KHAMENEI.IR / AFP)

TEHRAN – Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday stressed that preserving Syria's territorial integrity is of great importance, saying any military action in the north of the Arab state will benefit terrorists.

Making the remarks at a meeting with visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also attended by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Khamenei said such military actions in northern Syria will definitely harm Türkiye, Syria, and the entire region as well as prevent the Syrian government from implementing the expected political measure.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said any military action in northern Syria will definitely harm Türkiye, Syria, and the entire region

The Iranian top leader said ensuring "the Muslim world's glory and greatness" depends on resolving differences and remaining cognizant in the face of divisive policies, according to the official news agency IRNA.

He highlighted the necessity of fighting terrorism, giving the assurance that Iran will cooperate with Türkiye in the fight against terrorism.

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He added the issues pertaining to Syria are required to be resolved through negotiations, urging Iran, Türkiye, Syria, and Russia to solve the problems through dialogue.

Calling for improving bilateral relations in all areas, Erdogan said Ankara has always been against US unilateral sanctions on Tehran.

Turning to the two countries' years-long battles against terrorists, Erdogan noted that there are terror groups in Syria that are supported and heavily armed by Western countries, defending his country's planned military operations in northern Syria.

Erdogan arrived in Iran on Monday night to take part in a trilateral meeting on Tuesday to be also attended by Raisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Syrian crisis.

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Earlier in the day, the Iranian and Turkish presidents met and signed a number of cooperation documents as well as a memorandum of understanding.