Damascus decries US-Turkish deal on ‘safe zone’ in Syria

Damascus said Syrian Kurdish groups “bear historic responsibility” for the U.S-Turkey deal and urged them to switch sides, aligning with the Syrian government instead.

8 August 2019 | 12:52

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 8 August 2019 | 12:52

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reviews an honour guard prior to a welcome ceremony for Ukraine's President Vladimir Zelenskiy, at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. (AP Photo)

DAMASCUS, Syria: Damascus says a U.S.-Turkish agreement on setting up a so-called “safe zone” in northeastern Syria is a “blatant violation” of its sovereignty.

Syria’s Foreign Ministry released a statement Thursday saying the agreement exposes Turkey’s “expansionist ambitions.”

It comes a day after Washington and Ankara announced they’d agreed to form a coordination center to set up the safe zone.

The move may have averted a Turkish incursion into that part of Syria. Ankara seeks to push out U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters from there as it considers them fighters terrorists, allied with a Kurdish insurgency inside Turkey.

Damascus said Syrian Kurdish groups “bear historic responsibility” for the U.S-Turkey deal and urged them to switch sides, aligning with the Syrian government instead.

Damascus has had no presence along the Turkish border since 2012.

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