Syrian Foreign Minister Urges Turkey, US to Withdraw Troops at UNGA
20:07 GMT 27.09.2021 (Updated: 16:46 GMT 08.01.2023)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad called on the United States and Turkey to withdraw their troops from the Arab republic, and warned separatists in the country's north against seeking help from outside forces in his address to the UN General Assembly on Monday.
Mekdad stressed that any foreign presence on Syrian soil without the consent of the Syrian government is illegal and is a flagrant violation of international law and the UN Charter.
"[Presence of] Turkish and US forces, which continue to occupy Syrian territories under false pretexts, and their looting of the national resources of the Syrian people should end immediately and without any preconditions," he said.
Mekdad further accused Turkey of continuing to support and protect terrorist groups, including Jabhat al-Nusra*, in the Idlib province, thus violating its obligations under the agreements reached in Nur-Sultan and Sochi. These activities have turned the region, according to the minister, into an "incubator for foreign terrorists."
The diplomat also accused Ankara of perpetrating war crimes against Syrians, including cutting off water supply to thousands of people, displacement and forced "Turkification" of the population on the occupied Syrian territories.
He warned terrorist groups that are still operating in Syria and threatening its stability that foreign forces will not help them achieve their goal and that the Syrian population will drive out all occupying or enemy forces.
Additionally, Mekdad reaffirmed that Damascus is ready to accept back all refugees who fled their homes due to hostilities.
The war in Syria has been going on since 2011 with President Bashar Assad’s forces fighting different insurgent groups. Turkey has played a considerable role in the conflict by supporting various opposition groups that are fighting the Syrian government, while also attacking the Kurdish forces located in the country despite protests from Damascus.
The US, in turn, backs the Kurdish armed formations, who are currently in control of major parts of the provinces of Al-Hasakah and Raqqa, as well as some settlements in the provinces of Aleppo and Deir Ez-Zor in northeastern Syria. Damascus does not recognize the so-called autonomous administration of northern and eastern Syria.
*Jabhat al-Nusra (also known as Al-Nusra Front, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, or al-Qaeda in Syria) is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.