27 September (WNN) — Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad criticized Turkey on Monday for aiding rebels in the northwestern part of the country in the country’s long-running civil war, which goes back to the Arab Spring of 2011.
Mekdad made the remarks at the 76th United Nations General Assembly. Russia has supported the Syrian government in fighting the rebels. Turkey, which has occupied parts of northern Syria since 2016, blames the Syrian government for the civil war.
The United States has fought Islamic State in Syria, which was once the home base of the terrorist group. Mekdad accused Turkey of war crimes and called on the United Nations to end its activities inside Syria.
The Syrian government has repeatedly called rebels and opposition government fighters “terrorists”. Mekdad said Turkish and US forces are illegally there inside Syria and are continuing to operate in their country. He said his troops should leave Syria without any preconditions.
“sooner or later, [those who support] Terrorists will come back to persecute them and innocent people will come to pay the price.” Mekdad said, “This is what has happened in many countries.”
Mekdad said Syrian refugees were welcome to come home, despite the fighting.
“We have made it clear that Syria’s doors are open for the safe and voluntary return of all refugees,” Mekdad said. He said that while Syria and its allies are trying to make humanitarian efforts to help their citizens, he accused those helping the opposition of creating a crisis situation.
Until the end of the civil war, Mekdad said that government forces would continue to fight until the country “terrorists are eliminated. This is our non-negotiable right.”
A UN report released on Friday said 350,209 people have been identified in the Syrian conflict over the past 10 years. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said one in 13 killed in the fighting were women and nearly one in 13 were children.
“The daily lives of the Syrian people are affected by unimaginable suffering,” Bachelet said in Friday’s statement. “They have endured a decade of struggle and faced the deepening economic crisis, as well as the effects of COVID-19. The widespread destruction of infrastructure has significantly affected the realization of essential economic and social rights.”