TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned against the consequences of military confrontation between Syrian and Turkey, saying the Islamic Republic "reiterates its readiness to” mediate between the two neighbors.
"Iran reiterates its readiness to facilitate dialogue among brother neighbor’s #Turkey & #Syria,” Zarif said on his Twitter account on Monday night.
"Escalation of tensions only serves interests of terrorists and their sponsors,” he wrote, adding, "Avoidance of bloodshed and respect for sovereignty & territorial integrity is imperative.”
An attack by Syrian government forces killed five Turkish soldiers in northwest Syria on Monday, threatening further escalation in the region after another deadly artillery strike last week.
Turkish defense officials said five other troops were wounded in "intense” shelling in Taftanaz in the northwestern province of Idlib, the last rebel-held stronghold in Syria.
Turkey immediately responded and "neutralized” more than 100 enemy targets, the defense ministry said in a statement.
Last week, eight Turkish military personnel were killed in a similar attack on Saraqeb, south of Taftanaz. The Turkish response at the time left at least 13 Syrian soldiers dead, according to media reports.