DAMASCUS (Press TV) – Damascus has strongly condemned "criminal acts of aggression" perpetrated by Turkish military forces against Syrian people in the aftermath of a cross-border incursion into the northern part of the Arab country, calling on the international community to force Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stop the measures.
An unnamed source at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in a statement on Thursday that the Damascus government severely censures Turkish forces’ crimes against ordinary Syrian civilians – the latest of which took place the previous day when Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles bombarded residential neighborhoods on the outskirts of Tal Abyad town in the northern province of Raqqah, killing five people, including children, and injuring several others.
The source added that Turkish troops and their allied militants continue to commit crimes against Syrian people irrespective of agreements struck in line with the Syrian peace process, namely the Astana and Sochi accords.
Such practices confirm that Erdogan considers himself above international law, and that his intentions and actions are based on occupation and hostility, and in utter disregard for obligations under the aforementioned agreements, international regulations and the UN Charter, the Syrian diplomat pointed out.
"The Syrian Arab Republic reiterates that it spares no effort to defend its people, sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of the Turkish regime’s aggression and greed. Syria calls upon the international community to act immediately and force Erdogan to instantly stop his crimes against Syrian people, which constitute a flagrant violation of the international and humanitarian conventions,” the source concluded.
On October 9, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in a declared attempt to push Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militants from border areas.
Ankara views the U.S.-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.
On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Erdogan signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted YPG militants must withdraw from the Turkish-controlled "safe zone" in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow will run joint patrols around the area.
The announcement was made hours before a U.S.-brokered five-day truce between Turkish and Kurdish-led forces was due to expire.