Syria urges Turkey to withdraw troops, end occupation

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad has urged Turkey to withdraw forces from Syria immediately to end the occupation.

Duvar English

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad has once again called on Turkey to end its presence on Syrian soil. 

Speaking to Sputnik, Mekdad said that Damascus considers Turkey's presence in Syria an act of occupation and wants to see Ankara immediately withdraw its forces.

"The main reason for this [escalation in the Idlib region] is Turkish occupation and the support given by Turkey to the terrorist groups there," Mekdad told Sputnik on Sept. 22.

"Turkey should immediately withdraw and the international community should support Syrian efforts in the liberation of the occupied territories in the north of the country."

Damascus has repeatedly called on Turkey to withdraw from its soil. In a rare meeting between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Sept. 13, the latter also criticized foreign forces in Syria without a United Nations mandate.

Putin told Assad that foreign forces in Syria without a U.N. decision were a hindrance to its consolidation.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Putin are scheduled to meet on Sept. 29. Erdoğan is expected to raise the Idlib escalation at the meeting.