Damascus: US military in Syria violate sovereignty, not fighting terror

The actions of the US military in Syria are a violation of the latter’s sovereignty and not part of any anti-terrorist action, Syria’s deputy foreign minister says.

We doubt that they [US troops] are sincere in their fight against terrorism. They do not coordinate their actions with the Syrian Army. This makes those forces illegal in Syria’s territory. One cannot say they are fighting terrorism,” Faisal al-Mikdad, Syria’s deputy foreign minister, said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

The diplomat spoke after Washington confirmed the deployment of special operations troops in Syria. US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter called on Thursday the first commando mission in Syria a success.

I think the point is that it bore the fruit that we hoped it would,” Carter told reporters after meeting with troops, commanders and Kurdish leaders in Irbil, the capital of the Iraqi Kurdish Autonomy.

Mikdad blasted Saudi Arabia for hosting a meeting of various forces seeking to oust the government in Damascus.

Some of the participants that Saudi Arabia allowed to the conference are not really opposition. Others represented terrorist groups. We can only say that Syria does not negotiate with terrorists. The only place we meet them is the battlefield,” he said.

He also dismissed the hyped-up Riyadh-led military anti-terrorism coalition of 34 nations, which Saudi Arabia revealed this week. Mikdad said the proposed alliance was sectarian in nature and used religious slogans for political goals much like the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) does. The Saudi alliance had a somewhat bumpy start as several nations listed as its members claimed they had learned about their participation from the media.