A Lebanese politician who regularly meets Syrian officials said that the Iranians recently carried a message from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, reported Associated Press (AP).
Erdogan said he was ready to send Turkish officials to Damascus, but Assad refused, saying they could meet in a third country.
In the message, Erdoğan called for the return of the Syrian army to areas now controlled by the Kurds, to prevent Kurdish fighters from using Syrian gas and oil, and also called for Syrian refugees in Turkey to be returned to Syria.
Arguing that Tehran was “antagonistic” toward Turkey in Syria, a senior Turkish government official denied any Iranian mediation and said it was Russia that pushed Turkey toward reconciliation but that there was “no progress at all”, reported AP.
Last month, Mazloum Abdi, the Commander in Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat and warned against “comprehensive normalization” between Ankara and Damascus and said that any deal “will target the will of our people.”
“If this happens, it will be a great national crime because this will open the way for the occupation of parts of Syria,” Abdi told AP. “This is not acceptable.”
For Russia, a deal between Damascus and Ankara would help strengthen its ally Assad and would further promote Moscow’s influence with Turkey.
Hence, Russia’s special presidential envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev, said that hopefully Turkey and Syria could work toward a gradual rapprochement.
However, Bouthina Shaban, media advisor to Bashar al-Assad, said that the Turkish attacks used baseless pretexts for the survival of terrorists operating under its umbrella in north and west Syria, reported Syrian Arab News Agency.