DAMASCUS (Dispatches) – Damascus has strongly condemned the illegal entry of delegations from the Netherlands and France into troubled northeastern part of Syria, which has been occupied by U.S.-backed militants.
A Syrian official from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in a statement on Sunday that the meetings between Western diplomats and the militants belonging to the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) “constitute flagrant violations of international law and a blatant attack on Syrian sovereignty.”
According to the statement, a delegation from the Netherlands led by special envoy to Syria Emiel de Bont on Saturday entered the territory in collusion with the SDF under the pretext of receiving a number of Daesh terrorists of Western origin. A French delegation also from the Danielle Mitterrand Foundation and the Paris City Council illegally visited the city of Qamishli in Hasakah province.
The ministry accused the French authorities and some other Western governments of their “direct involvement” in fueling militancy across Syria.
Thousands of Western citizens traveled to territories held by Daesh and joined their ranks in Syria and Iraq over the past years.
The SDF says the camps in northeastern Syria holding more than 70,000 Daesh family members are a security threat and a burden.
European countries have been reluctant to repatriate their nationals living in such circumstances. A Dutch court ruled last year that authorities are not obliged to repatriate a group of 23 Dutch women and their 56 children currently imprisoned in northern Syria.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry also called for full withdrawal of Turkish troops, which have been providing support to militants operating to topple the Damascus government since early 2011.
The statement also reiterated determination to extend the Arab state’s sovereignty over all its territory and liberate them from Turkish, U.S., and other foreign occupying countries.
“Syria calls on the International Community particularly UN and its organs to take the appropriate stance towards these practices and to force the governments of those countries hostile to Syria to abandon their subversive policies aimed at impeding the return of security and stability to Syria,” the statement said.