Iran urges Turkey not to go ahead with attack on Syrian Kurds

Zarif urged Turkey to respect Syria’s integrity and sovereignty. (File/AFP)
Updated 08 October 2019

Iran urges Turkey not to go ahead with attack on Syrian Kurds

  • Iran, Turkey and Russia have been working together as part of the so-called Astana group on the Syrian civil war
  • Trump this week declared that US troops will step aside for an expected Turkish attack on the Syrian Kurds

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran has joined the chorus of criticism of President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon Syrian Kurdish fighters ahead of an expected Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria.
Iranian state TV reported on Tuesday that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to express Tehran’s opposition to the anticipated Turkish operation in Syria.
According to the report, Zarif urged Turkey to respect Syria’s integrity and sovereignty.
Iran, Turkey and Russia have been working together as part of the so-called Astana group on the Syrian civil war, talks that have run parallel to UN efforts to find a solution to the conflict.
Trump this week declared that US troops will step aside for an expected Turkish attack on the Syrian Kurds, longtime US allies against the Daesh group.


Protesters regain control of third bridge in Baghdad

Updated 17 November 2019

Protesters regain control of third bridge in Baghdad

  • Security forces used tear gas and stun bombs to prevent protesters from getting right across Ahrar Bridge in central Baghdad
  • More than 300 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad

BAGHDAD: Iraqi protesters regained control of a third bridge leading to Baghdad’s Green Zone on Sunday, taking further ground in the biggest wave of anti-government demonstrations in decades.
Security forces used tear gas and stun bombs to prevent protesters from getting right across Ahrar Bridge in central Baghdad, part of a weeks-long attempt to disrupt traffic and reach the Green Zone housing government ministry and embassies.
Protesters made a barricade of old cabinets, trash cans and metal sheeting on the bridge while security forces took positions behind blast walls installed to prevent protesters from crossing to the other side. Protesters who choked on the tear gas were evacuated by tuk-tuk, a Reuters cameraman said.
On Saturday, Iraqi demonstrators reoccupied part of adjacent Sinak Bridge and a nearby tall building in Baghdad that security forces had pushed them away from a week before. They have held a third bridge, Jamhuriya, since October 25.
More than 300 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad and southern Iraq in early October, the largest demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Protesters are demanding the overthrow of a political class seen as corrupt and beholden to foreign interests.
In Basra in the south, dozens of protesters burned tires and briefly blocked some roads on Sunday, before police managed to restore control and reopen them, police said.
The unrest has shattered the relative calm that followed the defeat of Islamic State in 2017.