Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Tuesday that a solution to the Syrian crisis would come through the maintenance of the unity of Syrian territories and the participation of all Syrian people in determining the future of their country.
“Turkey rejects the partition of Syria into pieces and refuses the idea of creating a Kurdish state between Turkey and the rest of the countries in the Middle East,” Yildrim said, addressing parliament members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The Turkish prime minister also noted that Turkey and Iran will work on finding a solution to the crisis in Syria.
“Just like it normalized relations with Israel and Russia, Turkey and Iran will offer the solution to the crisis in Syria,” he said.
Meanwhile, Russia used Iran on Tuesday for the first time as a base from which to launch air strikes against Syrian militants, widening its air campaign in Syria and deepening its involvement in the Middle East.
The head of Iran’s National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying Tehran and Moscow were now sharing facilities.
The Russian defense ministry said that long-range Russian Tupolev-22M3 bombers and Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers used Iran’s Hamadan air base to strike a range of targets in Syria.
For its part, the United States said it was still assessing the extent of Russian-Iranian cooperation but described the new development as “unfortunate,” Reuters agency reported.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the United States was looking into whether the move violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which prohibits the supply, sale and transfer of combat aircraft to Iran.
Commenting on Yildirim’s recent remarks, sources close to the Turkish prime minister told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Turkey was prioritizing its own interests by preventing the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union from establishing a Kurdish federal entity on the borders with Turkey.
The sources stressed that Turkey would not abandon the Syrian people and was keen on the establishment of a democratic regime in the war-torn country.
By Said Abdul Razzak, Taha Abdul-Wahed, and Adel al-Salmi
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