A man sits beneath posters of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday after fleeing Afrin and taking shelter in Nubl, a northern Aleppo town under regime control. Photo: George Ourfalian/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iranian authorities have arrested several people protesting against Turkey’s military operation in Afrin.
At least nine people were arrested amid increased security across five cities, the France-based Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) reported on Tuesday.
The rights monitor noted there was a large security presence in the main squares of several cities on Monday ahead of planned rallies that were denied official permission.
In Kamyaran, Kurdistan province, hundreds gathered to protest in support of the civilian population of Afrin and at least one man and one woman were arrested.
Several more were arrested at a protest in front of Turkey’s embassy in Tehran while demonstrations in Sanandaj and Mariwan were dispersed.
Turkey launched its Operation Olive Branch against the Syrian Kurdish canton on January 20. More than 200 civilians have been reported killed and Turkish forces and their allied Syrian militias are advancing
to impose a siege on the main urban centre, Afrin city.
Turkey denies harming civilians.
Iran has criticized Turkey’s operation, which is taking place despite objections from Damascus.
Saying that foreign military interventions must be based on authorization from national authorities, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last month, “We wish that Turkey’s operation in Syria will end at the earliest time.”
Tehran is an ally of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.