Syrian FM calls for immediate end of illegal foreign presence in country
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, in his address to 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), has called for an immediate and unconditional end to presence of foreign forces in the Arab country.
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According to Syria's official SANA news agency, Mekdad made the remark while addressing the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, saying, "The unlawful presence of foreign forces in Syria must end immediately and unconditionally."
"Countering terrorism," the Syrian top diplomat added, "does not mean occupying other people's land, establishing a safe zone, or backing terrorists."
The United States forces have been actively involved in Syria under the guise of fighting the Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh since 2014. Washington extended its troops' presence in Syria since 2017, although, the Arab country and its allies defeated the terror outfit that year.
Numerous reports and regional officials have, meanwhile, pointed to the US’ role in transferring Daesh elements throughout the region and even airlifting supplies to the group.
The US military has stationed forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oil fields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh. Damascus, however, asserts that the deployment is aimed at plundering the country's rich resources.
Al-Mekdad also touched on the Israeli regime's 1967-to-present occupation of Syria's Golan Heights, and Tel Aviv's incessant violations against the country.
"Israel exercises the most heinous violations in the Syrian occupied Golan, which include the illegal settlement expansion, demographic changes, and stealing the natural resources, not to mention supporting the terrorist organizations and repeatedly attacking Syrian territories,” Syrian foreign minister said.
Damascus maintains that the occupying regime backs Daesh and al-Nusra Front--which is al-Qaeda's Syria-based offshoot--and carries out attacks against civilian airports in Syria, Mekdad added, referring to the regime's multiple assaults so far against international airports in the Syrian capital and the western city of Aleppo.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the top diplomat said the foreign presence and violations that have been carried out by Washington and its allies against Syria, have caused the country to incur material damage running up to $107 billion.
According to Syrian officials, a large part of the financial losses have been caused by the illegal and unilateral sanctions that the US and its allies have been imposing against the already war-weary nation.