TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- Iran rejects Turkey’s establishing of military posts inside Syria, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday, adding that the integrity of the Arab nation should be respected.
"The Turks can have bases on their own side of the border but establishing bases on Syrian soil is unacceptable and amounts to violating the sovereignty of a member of the United Nations," Mousavi told reporters here.
On Thursday, Turkey agreed in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to a five-day pause in an offensive into northeastern Syria, to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a "safe zone” Ankara aims to establish near its border with Syria.
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Ankara would press on with its offensive into northeastern Syria and "crush the heads of terrorists” if a deal with Washington on the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the area was not fully implemented.
Iran has offered to engage Syrian Kurds, Syria’s government and Turkey in talks to establish security along the Turkish-Syrian border following Turkey’s military incursion into northern Syria.
Mousavi said Turkey's security concerns, while legitimate, should be resolved amicably and with full respect for Syria's sovereignty.
"Syria's sovereignty and integrity must be respected by all countries of the region," he said, noting there were already various mechanisms and agreements in place that could be used to address Turkey's concerns.
The Syrian government has condemned the offensive as an act of aggression.
Mousavi repeated Iran's position that none of the existing crises in the Middle East could be resolved through military intervention and that dialogue was the only way.
Tehran has showed from the beginning of the Syria crisis that it is looking to reduce tensions in the region and has already tried practical measures to stop the violence, the spokesman said.
Mousavi did not rule out Iran's role in resolving the ongoing crisis in northern Syria as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to travel to the Black Sea resort of Sochi for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Iran is one of the active players in this field," he said.