Feb 23, 2021 07:31 UTC
  • Foreign minister: Syria determined to continue fight against terrorism

Syrian Foreign Minister Faysal Mekdad has reiterated his country’s determination to combat terrorism and practice its legal right to put an end to any illegitimate military presence on its soil.

Mekdad, who is also a former permanent envoy to the United Nations, made the remarks in a speech via video to the 46th session of Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday.

“Terrorism remains a major threat and some countries are trying to exploit our country’s suffering for political pressure,” Mekdad said, stressing that, “Syria is determined to continue fighting terrorism and to exercise its legal right to end any illegal presence on its territory.”

The top Syrian diplomat pointed to right violations committed by occupation forces in his country, particularly the recent activities by the Turkish military in addition to Ankara’s support for terrorist groups in Syria.

“In light of the Turkish, American and Israeli occupation, terrorist groups and separatist militias continue to commit gross and systematic violations of human rights to serve the interests of their operators and supporters,” Mekdad said.

“Water cuts as a collective punishment for a million citizens in Hasakah Governorate is one of the examples of the grave and systematic violations committed by the Turkish occupation forces and their groups,” he added.

On October 9, 2019, Turkish forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in a declared attempt to push Kurdish militants affiliated with the so-called People’s Protection Units (YPG) away from border areas.

Ankara views the YPG, which is supported by the White House, as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.