Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said - during a visit to Damascus on Saturday - that Tehran is working to find a political solution to discourage Turkey from launching a new military operation in northern Syria, and believed that any military action would destabilize the region's security.

Abdullahian had said during his visit to Ankara last Monday that he "understands" the Turkish need for a new operation against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria.

During a press conference with his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Miqdad, before leaving Damascus, Abdullahian said, "We announced our readiness to present a political solution and our readiness to help in this regard."

He stressed that his country will do its best to prevent a military operation, noting that he also spoke to Turkish officials about a diplomatic solution.

For his part, the Syrian Foreign Minister welcomed Iran's efforts in this regard.

Tehran has supported Damascus militarily and economically since the outbreak of the revolution against the Assad regime 11 years ago.

Earlier, the official Iranian news agency (IRNA) quoted Abdullahian before his departure for Damascus as saying that his visit to Syria focused specifically on peace and security in the region between Syria and Turkey.

"After my visit to Turkey, it is necessary to hold consultations with the Syrian authorities," IRNA quoted the Iranian minister as saying on Saturday.

The Iranian Foreign Minister visited Ankara last Monday, during which he said that he "understands" Turkey's need for a new Turkish military operation in the area controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, whose backbone is the Kurdish Protection Units, which Ankara classifies as a terrorist organization alongside the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Al-Assad met the Iranian Foreign Minister and the accompanying delegation in Damascus (Reuters)

meeting the lion

The President of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, received the Iranian Foreign Minister on Saturday, and a statement by the Syrian presidency quoted al-Assad as saying that "Turkish allegations to justify its aggression on Syrian territory are false and have nothing to do with reality, and violate the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the principles of international law and good-neighbourliness."

Tehran - as well as Ankara - is hostile to the "Kurdish separatists" who carry out operations in both Turkey and Iran, but at the same time it is a strong ally of the regime of Bashar al-Assad and defends the unity of Syria, part of which is under the control of the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units.

Ankara announced its intention to launch a new attack on areas in northern Syria controlled by the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units, but the Turkish authorities are also coordinating with Russia, the main ally of the Syrian regime.

Turkey has carried out 3 military operations in northern Syria since 2016, which the Syrian regime described as violations of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, despite its lack of control over it since the outbreak of the revolution against the Syrian regime in 2011.

The areas of Tel Rifaat and Manbij, in which Turkey wants to launch the new military operation, are part of a 30-kilometer-wide "safe zone" that Ankara wants to establish along the Turkish-Syrian border.