Syria calls on US, French, Turk­ish forces to with­draw im­me­di­ately

War on ter­ror is al­most over and ‘oc­cu­py­ing forces’ must with­draw im­me­di­ately with­out any con­di­tions: Moualem

The Gulf Today - - MIDDLE EAST -

UNITED NA­TIONS: Syria’s for­eign min­is­ter on Satur­day de­nounced US, French and turk­ish forces op­er­at­ing in his coun­try as “oc­cu­py­ing forces” and de­manded that they leave im­me­di­ately.

Ad­dress­ing the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly, For­eign Min­is­ter Walid Al Moualem, who serves as well as Syria’s deputy prime min­is­ter, also called on Syr­ian refugees to come home, even though the coun­try’s war is now in its eighth year.

Moualem said the for­eign forces were on Syr­ian soil il­le­gally, un­der the pre­text of ight­ing ter­ror­ism, and “will be dealt with ac­cord­ingly.”

“They must with­draw im­me­di­ately and with­out any con­di­tions,” he told the as­sem­bly.

Moualem in­sisted that the “war on ter­ror is al­most over” in Syria, where more than 360,000 peo­ple have died since 2011, with mil­lions more up­rooted from their homes.

He said Da­m­as­cus would con­tinue “ight­ing this sa­cred bat­tle un­til we purge all Syr­ian ter­ri­to­ries” of both ter­ror groups and “any il­le­gal for­eign pres­ence.”

The united states has some 2,000 troops in Syria, mainly train­ing and ad­vis­ing both Kur­dish forces and Syr­ian Arabs op­posed to Pres­i­dent Bashar Al As­sad.

France has more than 1,000 troops on the ground in the war-wracked coun­try.

On the is­sue of refugees, Moualem said the con­di­tions were ine for them to re­turn, and he blamed the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity for “spread­ing ir­ra­tional fears” that prompted refugees to stay away.

“We have called upon the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and hu­man­i­tar­ian or­gan­i­sa­tions to fa­cil­i­tate these re­turns,” he said. “They are politi­cis­ing what should be a purely hu­man­i­tar­ian is­sue.”

As­so­ci­ated Press

Walid Al Moualem ad­dresses the 73rd ses­sion of the United Na­tions Gen­eral As­sem­bly in New York on Satur­day.

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