[Editor’s note: Iran has had a large military presence in Syria for years, fighting hard alongside the Syrian army. In fact, it can be reasonably stated that without Iran’s help, Syria would have been defeated by the assorted mercenary headchoppers.
Now another foreign power has sent it’s forces into Syria, but unlike Iran’s legitimate presence, this is an illegal incursion/invasion by the Turkish Army.
Iran says that it is trying diplomatic means to curtail Turkey’s adventurism and it has to be hoped that diplomacy succeeds because the other option does not bear thinking about – the use of force to drive the Turks out would inevitably start a new war of even larger dimension. Ian
Iran Denies Word on Gholami’s Death in Aleppo, Demands Turkey to Withdraw from Jarablus
London-Iranian media reported on Wednesday a top general being killed in action while serving in northern Syria.
However, Iran denied a day later general Ahmad Gholami’s death, saying he was still in a coma after being shot in the head.
Gholami, who had served as a commander during the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s, died on Tuesday “while fighting the ‘takfiri’ terrorists in Aleppo, Syria,” reported the Fars news agency, which is close to the hardline Revolutionary Guards.
Media outlets did not give details on Gholami’s presence in Syria, yet, did mention that the commander was serving as an advisor among Iranian ranks in Syria.
Also Wednesday, Iran’s diplomatic cable, namely Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi, reiterated contempt and concern towards Turkey setting boots on the grounds in Syria.
Claiming that a Turkish intervention violates Syrian sovereignty, Ghasemi demanded that Ankara seizes the military offensive immediately.
“The Turkish army must quickly stop its military operations,” he said.
Then again Tehran has long had military advisers and volunteers on the ground in Syria in support of the regime, while Moscow has deployed special forces, artillery and warplanes.
Turkey’s cross-border offensive, aimed against Kurdish militia expansion alongside its borders as well as the ultra-hardline ISIS terror group, marks the first major ground intervention by a foreign power carried out without the blessing of Damascus.
Ankara regards the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) it has been fighting in southeastern Turkey for three decades.
Ghasemi said that Turkey’s military presence in Syria would complicate things further.
Iran has been meeting extensively with Turkey over the last week in hopes of talking it out of entering Syria’s Jarablus.
“In the fight against terrorism, any resort to methods that cast a shadow over the political sovereignty and legitimate power of the central government is unacceptable,” Ghasemi said.
“Although the fight against terrorism… it cannot and must not justify military operations on another country’s territory without coordination with its central government,” he added.