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Damascus slams US, Turkish patrolling of security zone as aggression

Damascus has lambasted US and Turkish patrolling of a planned security zone in northeastern Syria as aggression, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

Damascus believes that "this step is aggression aimed at foot dragging the crisis in Syria," the statement said. The Syrian Foreign Ministry views these steps as "a flagrant violation of international law, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country."

The foreign ministry emphasized that the country's authorities oppose the so-called security zone declared by the US and Turkey and confirm their determination to counter those projects, which "undermine unity and territorial integrity" of the republic.

Earlier on Sunday, the Turkish and US military completed their first joint ground patrolling of the so-called security zone in Syria's northeast. The patrolling started at around 10.24 a.m. local time and lasted for 2 hours and 20 minutes. Turkey's National Defense Ministry reported that the operation involved drones and armored vehicles.

The Turkish and US military agreed on August 7 to set up a joint operations center in Syria. The first group of the US military, who will work there, arrived in the Turkish town of Urfa (Sanliurfa), located some 50 km from the Syrian border, on August 12. The center has been established by the two countries in order to fulfill a plan on creating a buffer zone in northern Syria, where Syrian refugees could return from Turkey and which could become a "safety belt" for the Turkish border. Ankara insists that control over the planned security zone must be entirely ensured by the republic's armed forces.

[Source: Tass, Moscow, 08Sep19]

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