Iran-Russia-Turkey vows annihilation of Daesh

By Monitoring Desk
Thursday – April 5, 2018
ANKARA (Turkey): Following a meeting of the presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hassan Rouhani held a joint news conference, on Wednesday, following the second trilateral meeting of the heads of states, guarantors of the Astana process for facilitating the Syrian peace settlement.

According to an official statement, Turkish president Erdogan said, “Last November, Putin welcomed us to Sochi during the first summit to resolve the Syrian conflict. Today, we held talks and identified some steps that, we believe, will show us the way to the future of our region.”

He mentioned, “Turkey is strictly complying with its commitments regarding the de-escalation zones. Having recently established the 8th observation post in Idlib, we, I believe, have thus demonstrated our determination. We hope that the entire world will pay attention to one point with regard to Syria. We believe that ensuring the territorial security and territorial integrity of Syria depends on whether we treat all terrorist organisations on an equal footing.”

Erdogan said, “However, terrorist organisations that pose a threat not only to Syria, but also to Turkey and other neighbouring countries in the region, must be eliminated from the game. As a result of the “Euphrates shield” military operation, Turkey eliminated about 3,000 terrorists and thus demonstrated that it is doing more than others to fight the terrorist organisation Daesh.”

He asserted, “However, Turkey is also a country that has sacrificed much during the attacks by Daesh. A military operation codenamed the “olive branch” was equally important. During this operation, we fought against the so-called people’s self-defence forces, YPG, which represented threats to Syria’s territorial integrity. We have liberated about 4,000 square kilometres from the terrorists.”

Erdogan said, “Thus, we are not only ensuring the security of this region but are building infrastructure in liberated areas and are returning these territories to their actual residents, the people of Syria. Everyone is aware that over 3.5 million Syrian refugees are residing in Turkey. After liberating Jarabulus and Al-Baba, 160,000 Syrian refugees returned to the liberated territories. Once we are done demining Afrin, we will also help rebuild the infrastructure. We expect hundreds of thousands of Syrians to return to their homes.”

Iranian president Rouhani said, “In the last few years our region has been facing the very serious crisis that is called terrorism. Regrettably, these terrorists are supported by some Western countries. Certain states are funding them and equipping them with new weapons. These are the same terrorists that produced and sold Syrian oil, and destroyed Syrian museums and, unfortunately, freely sold the artefacts they found in these museums. It is highly regrettably but some super powers, including the United States (US), would like to use the terrorist groups of Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra as an instrument of controlling this region.”

He added, “Large nations like the Iraqis and the Syrians have neutralised this conspiracy with the assistance of friendly countries. Daesh no longer exists as a force. There are leftover parts of it but they are no longer a force, not a big force. Now after several years of fighting the terrorists the region’s nations have more hope than before.”

Rouhani mentioned, “In the opinion of the Islamic republic of Iran, the Syrian issue does not have a military solution. We must resolve the Syrian crisis only by political process. All of us should help to end the war in Syria. We should continue the peace processes. We should do what we can for the refugees to return home.”

He asserted, “The current humanitarian situation in Syria is terrible – I can express this in one word. We should all help so that the Syrian people feel at least a little safe to return home. Let me emphasise once again that all of us should respect, as the most important principles, the territorial integrity, sovereignty, unity and independence of the Syrian Arab Republic. This is what the Syrian people want. It is necessary to fight terrorism and eliminate the remaining elements in Syria.”

Russian president Putin exposed, “International elements are considering growing number of attempts to deepen ethnic and religious differences in Syrian society in order to break up the country and to preserve the conflict potential of the Middle East for years to come.”

He added, “Thanks to close coordination between Russia, Iran and Turkey as the guarantor states of the Astana process, the level of violence in Syria has radically diminished. The main Daesh forces have been defeated, and the combat capability of the other terrorist groups has been seriously undermined. Refugees and internally displaced persons are returning to their homes, and the reconstruction of social and economic infrastructure is underway.”

Putin said, “We intend to keep the focus of the Astana process on the political settlement of the Syrian crisis, or more precisely, promote an inclusive intra-Syrian dialogue in keeping with united nations (UN) security council resolution 2254.”

He asserted, “Humanitarian issues were a major part of our discussion. The participants stated that politicisation of this issue is unacceptable and that it is necessary to strictly comply with the UN security council resolution 2401 that is aimed at alleviating the suffering of civilians in all of Syria.”

Putin said, “We informed our colleagues about Russia’s efforts in this regard, in particular, the unprecedented operation in eastern Ghouta on saving thousands of civilian lives and removing militants that refuse to lay down their arms. Humanitarian aid is regularly delivered to the area of hostilities. Some of it is paid for by the donations of Russian citizens. Thus, 77 tonnes of food and basic necessities were sent to Syria in February at the expense of religious groups.”

He promised, “We also agreed to consolidate our efforts on the post-conflict recovery of Syria, primarily, the construction of social and infrastructure facilities. Russian companies are already taking an active part in this. Indicatively, they have begun some projects in areas that were only recently run by militants. We consider our common strategic goal the complete rout of the terrorists that have not stopped their attempts to destabilise the situation on the ground and are still trying to derail efforts to promote the peace process.”

Putin held, “They will not stop at anything. We have irrefutable proof that they were preparing to use toxic agents. In this context, we agreed to step up trilateral coordination in all aspects of anti-terrorist activity and increase information exchange.”