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MP: Call for safe zone in northern Syria is Erdogan’s brainchild, rooted in colonial projects

11 Jun 2022 07:01

Islam Times - A Syrian legislator has dismissed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call for the establishment of a so-called safe zone in the occupied northern part of the war-ravaged country, stating that the proposal is rooted in his colonial projects.

“Erdogan's plan aimed at creation of a 30-kilometer (18.6-mile) deep in northern Syria is emphatically rejected. His dream of the Ottoman empire rebirth will never come true,” Ammar al-Assad said in an exclusive interview with the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Friday.

“We are already familiar with the hostile views of the Turkish regime towards its neighbors, its colonial approaches, as well as its support for terrorism, sabotage and blackmail to achieve political goals,” Assad added.

The Syrian lawmaker noted, “He is now pushing to establish a so-called safe zone 30 kilometers deep south of the border with Syria. There is no such thing in international principles or agreements. There are also other inventions like the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) Takfiri terrorist groups, which he created and financed himself."

“Such hostile statements are in support of terrorists, and give them a free hand to occupy a neighboring country and to displace local residents with the intention of demographic change,” Assad commented.

He went on to say that “the so-called safe zone will not be established at all. All traces of the Turkish occupation will be obliterated as the Syrian army and the Damascus government is unified in the face of plots seeking to destroy the fabric of our society."

“We also have Russia and Iran as allies as well as freedom-loving people of the world on our side, who condemn the plan and will not allow these terrorist and colonial projects to be carried out," Assad noted.

Earlier this month, Russia’s Foreign Ministry urged Turkey against launching another incursion into northern Syria under the pretext of fighting off anti-Ankara “terrorists.”

“We hope that Ankara will refrain from actions that could lead to a dangerous deterioration of the already difficult situation in Syria,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on June 2.

“Such a move, in the absence of the agreement of the legitimate government of the Syrian Arab Republic, would be a direct violation of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and would “cause a further escalation of tensions in Syria,” she added.

“We understand Turkey’s concerns about threats to national security emanating from the border regions” with Syria, she said, adding the concerns, however, could also be alleviated if the Syrian military were to be deployed to the areas.

Her remarks came a day after Erdogan warned that the country was to take yet “another step” to “clean up” the northern Syrian cities of Tal Rifat and Manbij. 

Turkey has been conducting several incursions against Syria’s northern parts since 2016 to fight back against Kurdish militants known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Ankara associates the YPG with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group, which has been fighting a hugely-deadly separatist war against Turkey for decades.

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