SOCHI, January 20. /TASS/. Any ground operation in Syria may affect the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, due in Sochi on January 29-30, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari told reporters in a comment on Turkey’s operation in Syria’s Afrin.
"Any ground operation either positively or negatively may affect the Congress," he said. "We hope the guarantor countries (Russia, Turkey and Iran - TASS) will undertake measures to avoid it (affect - TASS)."
Earlier on Saturday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the republic's Armed Forces had "actively" begun an operation in Syria's Afrin. "An anti-terrorist operation in Afrin has actively begun," the Anadolu agency quoted the president as saying. "Manbij to follow," Erdogan added.
In recent months, Erdogan repeatedly spoke of a possibility to hold a military operation against groups, which are branches of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which Turkey had outlawed as a terrorist organization, in the Syrian district of Afrin.
On Friday, Turkey’s defense authority confirmed the military operation in Afrin "de facto began with artillery fire.".