Damascus Labels U.S. Military Presence in Syria ‘Act of Aggression’

Foreign Ministry reacts to comments by U.S. defense secretary that America will stay in Syria until Geneva negotiations are successful, SANA reports

Syria repeated calls for American forces to leave its territory on Tuesday, saying that it considers the presence of the U.S. military in Syria without the approval of the government an "act of aggression."

Speaking on the latest statements from U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, an official Foreign Ministry source said: “The presence of the U.S. forces or any foreign military presence in Syria without the consent of the Syrian government constitutes an act of aggression and an attack on the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as a gross violation of the chart and principles of the United Nations.”

The source dismissed efforts by Washington to connect its military presence in Syria with the settlement process, stating “neither the U.S. nor others can impose any solution by means of military pressure.”

“On the contrary, this presence only leads to prolonging the crisis and further complicating it, and this is where the real goal of this U.S. presence in Syria lies,” the source added.

Mattis told reporters on Monday that American forces would only leave Syria after it is evident the Syrian settlement process in Geneva is successful.

“We’re not just going to walk away right now before the Geneva process has cracked. That doesn’t mean everyone stays there. That doesn’t mean for certain — certain troops are leaving… We’re going to make sure we set the conditions for a diplomatic solution… Not just, you know, fight the cop part of it and then say good luck on the rest of it. We did it for that — to support the diplomatic solution,” Mattis said.

The ministry source said the statements prove Washington’s agenda is no longer unknown, adding that they show the subversive role the Trump administration has played through the “clear” and “evident” collusion with the Islamic State (ISIS) group and other terrorist organizations.

America, the source said, is on a constant quest to hinder a solution to the current crisis by inflaming regional tensions in the service of the Zionist project (Israel).

“This American demeanor is enough to belie and refute the statements of the U.S. secretary of defense,” the source added.

The source renewed Syria’s demand for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the U.S. forces from Syrian territory, reiterating that the U.S. military presence is an act of aggression on the sovereignty and independence of Syria and will be dealt with as such.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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