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Damascus: Turkey’s aggressive threats violation of international law, sovereignty of Syria

File photo of the Syrian foreign ministry’s building in the capital Damascus

Syria has vehemently condemned Turkey's acts of aggression against the Arab country, saying Turkish forces incursions into its territory violate international law.

The announcement was made in a Saturday statement by an unnamed source in Syria's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, the country's official SANA news agency reported.

“The aggressive threats of the Turkish regime pose a blatant violation of the international law and the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Syria,” the ministry said.

The statement added that Turkey's incursions into the Syrian territory contradict the understandings and agreements reached through the Astana process and constitute a serious threat to peace and security in the region while undermining internationally-sponsored agreements on the lines of the de-escalation zones in Syria.

Starting in 2017, the Kazakh capital hosted many rounds of negotiation between the Syrian government and foreign-backed militants—who had been waging a campaign of bloodshed and destruction against the Arab country—with Iran, Russia, and Turkey acting as the guarantors of the process.

Turkey has been conducting several incursions against neighboring Syria’s northern parts since 2016 to target the Kurdish militants affiliated with the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Ankara associates the YPG with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting a separatist war against Turkey for decades.

Earlier on Saturday, six Syrian troops were injured near the Tal Tamer town in the northeastern Syrian province of al-Hasakah after the Turkish military bombarded the area with heavy artillery, according to local sources.

The sources said Turkey bombarded the village of Umm al-Kif in al-Hasakah and the electricity network of Tal Tamer, Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network reported.

The sources added that the attack had caused significant damage to citizens’ property, harmed the electricity network, and cut off power in the district.

On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that the country was to take yet “another step” to “clean up” the northern Syrian cities of Tal Rifat and Manbij. The Turkish forces would then fan out to other areas in the Arab country, the Turkish head of state added.

On Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry urged Turkey against launching another incursion into northern Syria under the pretext of fighting off, what the Turkish government calls anti-Ankara “terrorists.”

“We hope that Ankara will refrain from actions that could lead to a dangerous deterioration of the already difficult situation in Syria,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.

“Such a move, in the absence of the agreement of the legitimate government of the Syrian Arab Republic, would be a direct violation of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and would “cause a further escalation of tensions in Syria,” she added.

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