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Iran and Turkey – Friends in Qatar, and Foes in Syria’s Afrin Region?

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The Afrin region is one of the most sensitive areas in Syria today. The chances of the crisis in the Afrin region are greater than ever before. What measures are Iran and Turkey taking to control the situation in the Afrin region? 

President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and President Rouhani from Iran are believed to have discussed the growing crisis in the Afrin region, over a phone call on Monday. According to sources, they discussed the need for cooperation in the fight against terrorists and the terror in the region. The two Presidents also talked about the need to strategise against disintegrating regional states.

The Iran-Turkey Conflicted Afrin Region Interests

Although these ‘mutual discussions’ on Monday, made to front page headlines, the fact remains that Iran is covertly opposing the Turkish operation in the North Syrian region. Iran and Syria are allies and share bilateral security ties, but Iran also holds amicable ties with Turkey. Since the beginning of the year, Turkey has been carrying out military operations to drive YPG out of the region. Air strikes, artillery and numerous Syrian rebels with Turkish tanks pushed into the region and Turkey, on Tuesday has committed to surrounding the Afrin region completely.

Also Read: US-Turkey Tensions Rise As Erdogan Threatens to Extend Op Afrin to Manbij

On the other hand, Iran is not openly commenting or taking sides. Iran believes that these Turkish operations in the Afrin region could fuel the already sensitive Syrian region. It is working towards reclaiming the region and is not welcoming the Turkish embedding roots in Syrian territory.

The YPG have had a control over the North Syrian region since 2013. They initially looked for US support but realized soon that Turkey-US security ties overpowered them. The situation in the Afrin region continues to weaken as multiple forces are waging aggressively towards it.

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