Turkish invasion must stop, all foreign troops must leave Syria: Assad

TEHRAN, Oct. 19 (MNA) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has demanded a complete halt to Turkey's offensive in northeastern Syria, and a full withdrawal of foreign forces illegally present in Syrian territories.

During a meeting with a Russian delegation headed by the Kremlin’s special envoy on Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, in Damascus on Friday, Assad said efforts must be directed at ending Operation Peace Spring and the pullout of all illegal forces, including the Turkish and American soldiers, from Syrian territories since they are considered occupying forces under international conventions.

The Syrian people are entitled to resistance by all available means, Assad said, according to Press TV.

On October 9, Turkey began pounding positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with jets and artillery and sent in troops to purge them from the area east of Euphrates.

The Kurdish-led administration in northeastern Syria says the Turkish offensive has killed 218 civilians, including 18 children, since its outset. The fighting has also wounded more than 650 people.

Lavrentiev, for his part, stressed Moscow’s firm support for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Kremlin’s special envoy to Syria further noted that Russia rejects any step or action that violates Syria’s sovereignty, further complicates crisis there and negatively affects attempts aimed at settlement of the conflict.

The two senior officials also exchanged viewpoints on preparations for the start of the work of Syria's long-awaited constitutional committee.

They underlined that the most significant factor for the success of the constitutional committee is that its work must be far from foreign interference, and that all parties must respect the composition of the committee, which was formed through inter-Syrian talks.

Lavrentiev also briefed Assad on the outcome of the recent visits by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

MNA/PRESSTV

News Code 151371

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