Assad: US, Turkish forces must withdraw from Syria
DAMASCUS (Agencies): Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has demanded a complete halt to Turkey’s operation against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria, and a full withdrawal of foreign forces illegally present in Syrian territories.
During a meeting with a Russian delegation headed by the Kremlin’s special envoy on Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, in Damascus on Friday, Assad said efforts must be directed at ending Operation Peace Spring and the pullout of all illegal forces, including the Turkish and American soldiers, from Syrian territories since they are considered occupying forces under international conventions.
The Syrian people are entitled to resistance by all available means, Assad said.
On Thursday, the Syrian leader said Damascus would give an appropriate response to the ground offensive by Turkish soldiers and allied T-akfiri militants against Kurd-ish fighters in the region.
“No matter what false slogans could be made up for the Turkish offensive, it is a flagrant invasion and aggression. Syria has frequently hit (Turkish-backed) proxies and terrorists in more than one place. Syria will respond to the assault and confront it anywhere within the Syrian territory through all legitimate means available,” Assad told the visiting Iraqi National Security Adviser Falih al-Fayyadh in Damascus.
Lavrentiev, for his part, stressed Moscow’s firm support for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Kremlin’s special envoy to Syria further noted that Russia rejects any step or action that violates Syria’s sovereignty, further complicates crisis there and negatively affects attempts aimed at settlement of the conflict.
The two senior officials also exchanged viewpoints on preparations for the start of the work of Syria’s long-awaited constitutional committee.They underlined that the most significant factor for the success of the constitutional committee is that its work must be far from foreign interference, and that all parties must respect the composition of the committee, which was formed through inter-Syrian talks.
On September 23, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said an agreement had been reached between the government of Syria and the so-called the Syrian Negotiation Commission.