Turkey asks Iran to support Syria ceasefire, rein Shiite militias

Orient Net 2016-12-31 07:36:00

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu asked Iran on Friday to use its influence on Hezbollah and other Shiite terrorist groups backing Assad regime to make the ceasefire in Syria successful.

Speaking to reporters in the southern Turkish city of Alanya, Cavusoglu said that Turkey and Russia are guarantors of the ceasefire deal. He asked Iran to make good on its promise after the trilateral meeting in Moscow to exert positive influence on Hezbollah and Shiite militias backing the Assad regime.

On Friday, Iran-backed militias and Assad regime violated the ceasefire in multiple cities and towns across Syria. Hezbollah and other Iran-backed militias spearheaded attacks on the eastern and western Ghouta of Damascus.

Cavusoglu said Turkey intensified efforts to make the ceasefire successful. He said the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called his Russian counterpart ten times in the last ten days. He added that he had held over twenty phone calls with his Russian and Iranian counterparts in the last three days. 

The Turkish foreign minister said that some countries and groups are not happy that a ceasefire was reached in Syria, but he refrained from naming them. He added that generally the deal received huge support.

Cavusoglu also stressed that Turkey will continue with Operation Euphrates Shield against the PKK-affiliated YPG militia as well as ISIS in northern Syria. 

A countrywide ceasefire in Syria went into effect at midnight on Thursday (2200GMT), after Turkey, Russia and opposition fighting groups reached a deal in the Turkish capital Ankara. Turkey and Russia said they would act as guarantor countries for the implementation of the ceasefire.

The deal stipulates that negotiations to find a political solution would be held within one month if the ceasefire is implemented successfully.

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