Syrian FM raps US-led coalition over misconduct under counter-terrorism name
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has criticized the US-led coalition for doing everything they could since the beginning of the war in Syria but fighting terrorism and militants.
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Addressing world leaders at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Saturday, Muallem described the military alliance as “illegitimate” and censured the “hegemonic policies” pursued by certain countries against the Damascus government.
The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of destroying Daesh.
Muallem noted that thousands of displaced Syrians were returning home after government forces reclaimed previously militant-held territories.
“The Damascus government will spare no effort to provide basic commodities to refugees and ensure that their basic needs are met. Present conditions are conducive to voluntary repatriation of refugees,” the top Syrian diplomat pointed out.
He added that the Syrian government supported a political solution to the ongoing foreign-sponsored conflict, emphasizing that Damascus was opposed to any initiative which paves the way for foreign inference in Syria’s internal affairs.
“Syria welcomes reconstruction aid from counties not involved in the conflict. Those states which offer conditional aid are neither invited nor willing to assist,” Muallem said.
The Syrian minister went on to say that his country did not a pursue a chemical weapons program, as all its chemical weapon stockpiles had been destroyed under the supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) .
He also said the so-called White Helmets aid group was indeed affiliated to the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, and was set up by Britain's secret intelligence service under a humanitarian guise.
Muallem then leveled strong criticism at neighboring Turkey, stating that it had served as a “terror hub and corridor” ever since the Syrian crisis began in March 2011.
He also called on France, the US and Turkey to immediately withdraw their troops from the Syrian soil.
“Any foreign military presence in Syria without the government’s consent amounts to flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter,” Muallem said.
He also condemned Israel’s continued occupation of the strategic Golan Heights, and the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with Iran.
“The Syrian government will never compromise on the country’s national interests,” Muallem concluded.