Iran, an ally of President Bashar Assad, reacted Saturday to Turkey’s bombing of Islamic State group targets in Syria by urging respect for national sovereignty in the fight against “terrorism.”
Turkish forces have carried out a wave of air and artillery strikes against both IS jihadists in Syria and Kurdish militants in Iraq over the past two days.
Asked to comment on the strikes, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said “all combat against terrorism should be done with respect to international rules and to the international sovereignty of states.”
“Any action that leads to the weakening of national governments can, in effect, encourage terrorist groups to fulfill their criminal actions,” she added.
Afkham also said Iran welcomes “international cooperation in the battle against terrorism.”
That may have been a reference to the fact that Turkey, which has long backed the rebellion against Assad, did not coordinate the attacks with the Syrian regime.
Iran, a predominantly Shiite country, is the principal regional ally of Assad, whose Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Tehran provides both financial and military support to him in his battle against the mainly Sunni rebellion.