21:32 GMT25 January 2020
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    US-Iran Crisis After Soleimani Assassination, Missile Attack (48)
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    The Turkish president's comments follow Wednesday's airstrikes on American military bases in Iraq by Iran. The bases house US military personnel.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey does not want the Middle East to turn into an area for military operations, while insisting that tensions between Washington and Tehran have reached a dangerous level.

    "We have been going through a difficult time lately. US relations with Iran have reached a level that worries us very much. We do not want our region to become a war zone", Erdogan said.

    The Turkish president also said that Ankara was engaged in "active diplomatic efforts" to reduce the tensions in the region, including a constant dialogue with Moscow.

    President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep TayyipErdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a joint press conference after the 5th Trilateral Summit in Astana format on the Syrian crisis
    © Sputnik / Aleksei Nikolskiy
    President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a joint press conference after the 5th Trilateral Summit in Astana format on the Syrian crisis

    Erdogan's comments were made as he and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin were in Istanbul to launch the new TurkStream gas pipeline, which will transport Russian gas to Turkey via the Black Sea.

    Earlier on Wednesday morning, Iran launched two waves of airstrikes against US military facilities in Iraq's Erbil and Ayn al-Asad Air Base, where American military personnel and coalition forces are housed. No information about casualties has been confirmed by Washington so far. The attacks followed the assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani, Commander of the IRGC's Quds Force by US drone strike on 3 January.

    Tehran vowed to avenge the killing of its top military commander, while pledging to "remove" America from the region. Iraqi officials also condemned the US airstrike, later passing a motion in Parliament to expel all foreign military presence from the country. 

    Topic:
    US-Iran Crisis After Soleimani Assassination, Missile Attack (48)
    Tags:
    Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, United States, Iraq, Iran
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