Damascus says that countries who back Turkey’s incursion into Syria are in fact supporting terrorism.
“The continued support of France, USA, Britain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to the Turkish regime is a clear support to terrorism, not only in Syria but in all world countries,” read a Syrian Foreign Ministry letter sent to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council on Monday.
On August 24, Turkish special forces, tanks, and jets — backed by planes from the US-led coalition — launched their first coordinated offensive in Syria.
“The Syrian government calls on UN Security council to assume its responsibilities in preserving the international peace and security, and to call on Turkey to immediately withdraw from the Syrian territories, and to respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria,” added the letter.
It also said that battling terrorism on Syrian soil must be done through coordination with the government in Damascus.
“The government of the Syrian Arab Republic condemns, with the strongest terms, the repeated crimes, violations, aggression and massacres perpetrated by the regime in Ankara against the Syrian people, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic,” stressed the letter.
It noted that a large number of civilians have been killed and injured by Turkish airstrikes and shelling during Turkey’s incursion. “Syria calls on Security Council’s member states to condemn those cowardly crimes and to exert all pressures and take all effective measures to guarantee the recovering of Turkish regime to its senses and forcing it abandon its support of terrorism or using it as a pretext to interfere in the domestic affairs of Syria.”
It stated that during its incursion into the northern Syrian city of Jarablus, Turkish forces “didn’t fire a single bullet at Daesh” but instead let the Takfiri militants join the Turkish forces, which is itself “evidence on the cooperation between the Turkish regime and Daesh.”
Meanwhile, the Jarablus Military Council, which is part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, has announced that it is withdrawing its forces from in and around the city.
“We declare the withdrawal of our forces to south, to the Sajour River, to preserve the lives of civilians and so that they (Turks and their allies) don’t have any justification to continue shelling civilians,” said the council in a statement.
A US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the withdrawal. “All the YPG are on the east of the Euphrates,” he said referring to Kurdish People’s Protection Units which are allied to the SDF.
Earlier in the day, the Turkish army released a statement announcing that Turkish-backed forces had cleared militants from 10 more villages to the south of Jarablus.