Beirut. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the Damascus government will respond through all legitimate means available to the ongoing ground offensive by Turkish soldiers and allied Takfiri militants against Kurdish forces in the northern part of the war-battered Arab country.
During a meeting with visiting Iraqi National Security Advisor Falih al-Fayyadh in Damascus on Thursday, Assad said foreign schemes in the Middle East region have been foiled throughout history, and the Turkish criminal aggression, launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration, on Syria falls within such plots.
“No matter what false slogans could be made up for the Turkish offensive, it is a flagrant invasion and aggression. Syria has frequently hit (Turkish-backed) proxies and terrorists in more than one place. Syria will respond to the assault and confront it anywhere within the Syrian territory through all legitimate means available,” the Syrian leader said.
Fayyadh, for his part, conveyed Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s message, which focused on further expansion of bilateral ties between the two countries in various areas of interest, particularly with regard to combating terrorism and border security in light of the recent developments, economic cooperation and re-opening of border crossings.
The meeting was also attended by Syrian Ambassador to Iraq Sattam al-Dandah.
Assad’s remarks came after an unknown source in the Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry earlier on Thursday strongly condemned the ongoing ground offensive by Turkish forces and their allied militants against Kurdish regions of the country.
The source said, “This treacherous Turkish aggression is the outcome of the expansionist ambitions and illusions of Erdogan’s regime, and it affirms that the regime is classified among terrorist groups to which it has provided all forms of support. The offensive deals a heavy blow to the efforts aimed at finding a solution to the crisis in Syria. It makes, therefore, the Turkish regime lose its position as a guarantor of the Astana peace process as its aggression completely contradicts the principles and decisions of the process.”