Iran’s Khamenei tells Erdogan military strike on Syria will ‘benefit terrorists’

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A military strike on Syria would destabilize the region, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is in Tehran for a summit on the Syrian conflict, state TV reported.

“Any military strike on Syria will harm the region and will benefit terrorists,” Khamenei said, according to the report.

Turkey, which has mounted four operations in northern Syria since 2016, has vowed to launch more military operations to extend 30-kilometer (20-mile) deep “safe zones” along the border.

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Khamenei called for the issue to be resolved through dialogue between Ankara, Damascus, Moscow and Tehran.

Khamenei, who has the final say in major state policies, also told Erdogan that Iran would offer cooperation “in the fight against terrorism.”

Erdogan’s planned military offensive would target Kurdish fighters regarded by Ankara as “terrorists.”

They include the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which formed a crucial part of an international coalition against ISIS extremists in Syria.

Ankara fears a strong Kurdish presence along its border with Syria will embolden the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which for decades has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Syria’s government has repeatedly condemned Turkish threats to mount a new incursion.

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