Moscow, SANA – Deputy Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Mahmoud al-Shawwa said on Wednesday that the presence of any foreign military forces on Syrian territory without approval of Syrian government is a clear aggression and occupation, and it will be dealt with accordingly.
In Syria’s speech at the 7th Moscow International Security Conference, which kicked off on Wednesday, al-Shawwa said that the eradication of terrorism in Syria dealt a blow to the Western schemes in the region, as the military victories of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies paved the way towards a peaceful solution devised by the Syrians, providing a political track as an alternative because the developments on the field set the direction of local, regional, and international political decisions.
He said that as the Syrian Arab Army and its allies are uprooting terrorism, Syria is continuing along the course of openness, intra-Syrian dialogue, national reconciliation, and reconstruction, adding that the victories achieved on the ground caused several countries to backtrack and change their positions and convictions.
Al-Shawwa said that Syrian citizens remained resilient in defending their homeland, paving the way towards victory against terrorism via two military and political tactics that run in parallel, which are fighting terrorism until the last terrorist in Syria is eliminated, and remaining open to all political solutions that respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and that reject subservience to foreign sides.
The Deputy Minister said that the Syrian government responded positively to the Astana meetings, which had relative positive effects that would have been better if the Turkish guarantor was committed to the process, adding that the government also attended all rounds of Geneva talks which the opposition groups kept undermining upon the instructions of their regional and international masters.
He noted that as the Syrian National Dialogue Congress kicked off in Sochi, Syria’s enemies delved deeper into attempts to tamper with Syrian geography, and they sought to undermine the Congress starting with a series of lies to undermine the Syrian Arab Army’s successive victories and to cover up the fact that Western states were arming terrorist groups.
Al-Shawwa said that 2017 was the year of major field victories against terrorism in Syria, as Daesh (ISIS) having been defeated by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies, with the Russian Aerospace Forces playing a vital role in this.
He went on to say that in 2017, the Syrian Arab Army established control over the entirety of Aleppo’s eastern countryside and secured the central part of Syria in record time, encircling the base set up by the US in al-Tanf and making contact with the Iraqi army on the borders, after which the 1043-day terrorist siege on Deir Ezzor was broken and the presence of Daesh was eliminated in Homs’ eastern countryside, leading to the liberation of the entirety of Deir Ezzor city, advancing towards al-Mayadeen, and reclaiming al-Boukamal, the last stronghold of Daesh, with 7/12/2017 being the day Daesh collapsed in Syria.
The Deputy Minister said that currently is presence of Daesh in Syria is limited to a few isolated and fully-encircled pockets that make up around 4% of Syria, or around 7,000 square kilometers spread in several areas in the east of the country, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, parts of al-Yarmouk Camp and al-Hajar al-Aswad near Damascus, and on the borders with Jordan and Palestine.
He said that when Syria and its allies began to reach the final stages of the war on terror, the states that control the terrorists went crazy and started to employ their own forces, whether the American forces that came to replace terrorist groups in northern Syria or the invading Turkish forces, and this was accompanied by American and Israeli attacks on Syria in clear violation of international law, all to support terrorists and cover up their defeats, and this explains the recent US attempts to make up different excuses to justify its presence in Syria and maintain its illegal bases and forces to seize control over oil fields and divide Syria via the so-called federalism project.
Al-Shawwa noted that Washington tried to scavenge its terrorist pawns by forming a new force of “armed opposition” that it leads and trains directly from the remnants of Daesh.
The Deputy Minister said the region is still subject to a dangerous colonialist campaign that employs the tactics of escalating conflicts, supporting terrorism, and starting wars to achieve the goals of certain states.
He pointed out that Syria had often warned that terrorism knows no boundaries or borders, and it poses a threat to everyone around the world, therefore the issue of counter-terrorism must be a global priority, calling on active regional and international forces to play a positive role in this regard.
“How could stability be achieved and reinforced in our region without curbing the hostile practices of the Turkish regime, the Israeli entity, and the its American ally?” he wondered, stressing that Syria views the presence of any foreign military forces on Syrian territory without approval of Syrian government is a clear aggression and occupation, and it will be dealt with accordingly
Al-Shawwa said that everyone must work earnestly and in unison to deal with the effects and repercussions of terrorism and take out its sources and funding, reiterating Syria’s calls for holding all the regional and international sides who support terrorism responsible for their actions.
H. Zain / Hazem Sabbagh