Kurdish deputies of the Iranian parliament demanded Iran’s Tractor Sazi football team and its supporters be penalized for shouting pro-Turkey slogans during a match, while seven fans were also taken into custody, according to Iranian officials.
The ministers wrote a letter to Iranian Sports and Youth Minister Masoud Soltanifar demanding that the football players and fans of the team, which is based in Iran’s East Azerbaijan region, receive punishment.
During the match between Tabriz-based Tractor Sazi and Esteghlal Tehran on Nov. 1, supporters shouted slogans and unfurled banners in support of Turkey’s counterterrorism efforts in northern Syria. Some of the supporters also gave a military salute to support Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring targeting PKK-affiliated terrorists.
Meanwhile, Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaqari said seven supporters of the team were taken into custody for incidents related to the match, adding that judicial and intelligence units are searching for three or four other people as well.
Zolfaqari did not give any details on the content of the banners or slogans shouted by the detained supporters.
It was also claimed that some supporters unfurled banners against the Iranian regime and shouted anti-government slogans during the match.
Launched on Oct. 9, Operation Peace Spring aims to eliminate PKK and PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorist elements from the area east of the Euphrates river in northern Syria to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.
The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone, east of the Euphrates so Syrians can return to the area safely.
On Oct. 22, Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey's border with Syria within 150 hours, and security forces from Turkey and Russia will carry out joint patrols there.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.