Baku, Azerbaijan, April 14
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Turkey, Russia and Iran have great merits in resolution of crisis in Syria. Just thanks to close contacts among Ankara, Moscow and Tehran, division of Syria as a country was prevented. However, despite this, the allies still had disagreements on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad 's participation in the further political life of Syria.
Almost all countries announced that the West should be blamed for the tragic events in Syria.
Only a week ago, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said that such terrorist organizations as the "Islamic State" (IS), PKK, PYD and YPG are managed from one center and are a "product" of the West.
Following this, Turkey's Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli made a statement addressed to France, saying that deployment of a military contingent in Syria's Manbij would be assessed as occupation.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford announced on April 14 that the US, UK and France struck multiple government targets in Syria in an early morning operation targeting alleged chemical weapons sites.
In a briefing at the Pentagon, Dunford, along with British and French counterparts, announced that three targets in Syria were "struck and destroyed", all of which were specifically associated with Syria's chemical weapons program.
Reportedly, the first target was a scientific research center in the greater Damascus area. The military facility was a center for research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological agents, the general said. The second target was a chemical weapons storage facility west of Homs.
“We assess this was the primary location of Syrian sarin and precursor production equipment,” Dunford said. “The third target … contained both a chemical weapons storage facility and an important command post.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran has condemned the recent air strikes by the US and its allies on Syria, warning against its consequences.
“The attack is a clear violation of the international law and regulations and it violates the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Syria,” the statement by the foreign ministry of Iran read.
Unlike Iran, Russia has not made any official statement regarding the military operation against Syria.
However, a statement made by the Turkish Foreign Ministry was the most unexpected one.
The ministry stated that Ankara considers the operation carried out early this morning by the United States, United Kingdom and France as an appropriate response to the chemical weapons attack, which caused the death of many civilians in Douma on April 7.
"We welcome this operation, which has eased humanity’s conscience in the face of the attack in Douma, largely suspected to have been carried out by the [Syrian] regime," the statement reads.
The Turkish side draws attention to presence of serious grounds to suspect the Assad supporters in involvement in the attack on the suburbs of Damascus.
"Attacks with weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, that indiscriminately target civilians constitute crimes against humanity. The Syrian regime, which has been tyrannizing its own people for more than seven years, be it with conventional or chemical weapons, has a proven track record of crimes against humanity and war crimes," the statement reads.
The ministry emphasized that Turkey believes that it is of critical importance that such crimes do not go unpunished and that accountability is ensured in order to prevent the recurrence of similar crimes.
Furthermore, Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin has today stated that chemical weapons attack in Syria's Douma did not go unanswered.
Given that Tehran and Moscow are on the same side in Syria, backing the Assad regime, one can expect Ankara's statements to negatively affect its relations with Russia and Iran.
In short, the Turkish-Russian-Iranian union for Syria has faced a serious threat.
Rufiz Hafizoglu is the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Trend Agency. Follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu