Turkish President Erdogan put the long-promised forth foray into Syria on hold after his return from Madrid. Ankara plans to grab more border cantons from Assad and Syrian Kurds to reinforce the buffer zone across its border. With Russian forces reducing their presence in contested Syrian districts, to fight in Ukraine, the Turkish Military Staff probably finds the idea of grabbing more territory in Syria irresistible. But, things are not going according to plan for the Turkish side, explains Media Line.
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad thanked Iran Saturday night for helping to reduce tensions between Damascus and Ankara. Turkey has been threatening in recent weeks to invade northern Syria, launch a military operation against Kurdish militias in the area, and establish a 30-kilometer buffer zone along the border by removing Kurdish-led fighters. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian announced during a visit to Damascus on Saturday that Tehran would stop a military operation from taking place. Ankara views the Kurdish fighters, who are backed by Russia, Syria, and the United States as terrorists allied with Kurdish insurgents in Turkey. Turkey has conducted three incursions into northern Syria since 2016, which Damascus claims is a violation of its territorial sovereignty.
Iran has been a strong ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad during Syria’s 11-year conflict, sending thousands of fighters from around the region and offering economic and political support.
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