Sunday, October 15, 2017

Govt urges for immediate withdrawal of Turkish forces from Syria

Turkish forces SYRIA
The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Saturday urged for the immediate withdrawal of Turkish forces from areas they entered in Idlib province, according to state news agency SANA.

The ministry said the Turkish "incursion" into Idlib is regarded as "a flagrant aggression, the Turkish regime will not be able to justify."

The statement comes a day after Turkish soldiers and armored vehicles crossed into Idlib as part of an operation Turkey says aimed at forcing a halt of battles in Idlib.

"This Turkish aggression is not related to any understanding between the countries involved in the Astana talks, but constitutes a violation to such understandings," the ministry said.

Moreover, the ministry charged that the Turkish incursion took place with the company of members of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, which is an evidence of the "close relation between Turkey and the terrorist groups."

The ministry said the Turkish forces should withdraw without any condition, adding that the Turkish government has had the "high hand in supporting the terrorists in Syria and cannot be credible by claiming to be fighting terrorism."

But a Turkish military statement claimed its forces would set up observation posts inside Idlib, saying its a part of an agreement with Russia and Iran, when the powers agreed to create a de-escalation zone in Idlib during the latest round of talks in Astana.

Idlib, in northwestern Syria, is largely controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a jihadist umbrella, in which the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front is the striking force and designated as a terrorist organization.

Idlib is also close to the Kurdish-controlled Afreen area in the Aleppo province, an area Turkey has for long been trying to contain to put an end to the growing influence of the Kurdish militants.

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