In Joint Syria Statement, Iran, Russia and Turkey Condemn 'Israeli Attacks in Syria'

Strikes attributed to Israel are 'destabilizing and violating sovereignty and intensifying the tension in the region,' say three countries backing separate sides of the nine-year war

Haaretz
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Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visit the headquarters of the Russian forces in the Syrian capital Damascus on January 7, 2020.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visit the headquarters of the Russian forces in the Syrian capital Damascus on January 7, 2020.Credit: ALEXEY DRUZHININ / SPUTNIK / AFP
Haaretz

The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey issued a joint statement Wednesday affirming "their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic," and condemning "Israeli military attacks in Syria."

Russia and Iran support the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad in the country's nine-year war, while Turkey has backed the rebel factions attempting to overthrow him.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a videoconference Wednesday, in which they discussed the situation in Syria, the joint statement said.

The statement dedicated a clause to "the necessity to respect universally recognized international legal decisions," including those pertaining to the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the Six-Day War in 1967 and Syria claims as its own. The three condemned U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the territory last year, "which constitutes a grave violation of international law and threatens regional peace and security."

They denounced "Israeli military attacks in Syria," saying they "destabilizing and violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country and intensifying the tension in the region." A number of recent strikes, attributed to Israel, have targeted Iranian bases in Syria.

The three states also condemned "attempts to create new realities on the ground," including "illegitimate self-rule initiatives," and decried separatist agendas that undermine Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity, "as well as threatening the national security of neighboring countries." Both Iran and Turkey have been clashing with Kurdish factions; A Kurdish-led confederation maintains an autonomous zone in northern Syria.

After worsening violence displaced nearly a million people, Turkey and Russia agreed in March to halt hostilities in northwest Syria's Idlib region. This month military jets bombed villages in the rebel-held area.  

Reuters contributed to this report.

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