Syria rejects U.S.-Turkish safe zone agreement

Syrian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the Syrian government rejects the U.S.-Turkish agreement to establish a safe zone in northern Syria, state news agency SANA reported.

A ministry statement branded the United States and Turkey as forces of occupation, saying the agreement, which was reached on Wednesday, constitutes a flagrant violation of the international law and the UN Charter.

The Turkish-U.S. agreement is also considered a “dangerous escalation” that threatens the peace and stability in the region and the world and undermines all efforts to find a way out of the Syrian crisis, the statement added.

“This agreement has exposed the partnership of the U.S. and Turkey in the aggression against Syria,” it noted.

The statement also put the blame on the Kurdish groups which “agreed to be a tool in the aggressive Turkish-U.S. project.”

Such groups “hold a historic responsibility” for the development of the situation, it said.

The Syrian government urges the international community to condemn the U.S.-Turkish “flagrant aggression,” the statement added.

The United States and Turkey announced on Wednesday that the two countries agreed to “address Turkish security concerns” and work together on the establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria.

Their announcements, however, provided little detail about the agreement.

It’s worth mentioning that the U.S.-backed Kurdish militias dislodged the Islamic State (IS) militant group from the Eastern Euphrates region which now is largely controlled by the Kurdish forces with the presence of U.S. troops and military advisors.

Additionally, the Kurdish forces control areas near the Syrian-Turkish border in the northern countryside of Aleppo Province as well as the northeastern province of Hasakah.

Turkey deems the People’s Protection Units, the spine of the Kurdish forces in Syria, as a terror group belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Ankara fears that the separatist sentiment of the Syrian Kurds could encourage the 14 million Kurds in Turkey and pose threats to its southern border where the PKK has been active for years.

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