Turkish forces in Syria are occupation forces - Syria's FM

Syria's Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Walid al-Mouallem, told the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 29 that the U.S., Turkish and French forces in Syria were considered "occupying forces," and Turkey to leave the country immediately.

Al-Mouallem said the U.S., French and Turkish forces are "occupation forces" in the eyes of the Syrian government and would be "dealt with accordingly."

 “Any foreign presence on Syrian territory without the consent of the Syrian government is illegal, and constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and the U.N. Charter,” al-Mouallem added.

"We welcome any assistance with reconstruction from those countries that were not part of the aggression on Syria," al-Mouallem said, "the countries that offer only conditional assistance or continue to support terrorism, they are neither invited nor welcome to help."

Multiple foreign powers have participated in Syria's complicated and destructive civil war has drawn since it broke out in 2011. In the 7-year war, more than 400,000 Syrians have died while 11 million have been forced to flee their homes. The United States had supplied armed rebel groups weapons and military training but ended military aid in July 2017. Besides, the United States has provided air support and arms to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab forces fighting against the Islamic State (ISIS). 

From the beginning of the war, Turkey has been one of the main supporters of the rebel groups. With the help of Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), an umbrella organisation of armed opposition, Turkey took control of 499 settlements, including towns such as Afrin, al-Bab, Azaz, Dabiq, Jarabulus, Jindires, Raco and Shaykh al-Hadid in Syria.

Since August 2011, France asserts, together with the United States and Britain, that the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad must step down. France has been more active and forward than other Western countries in its policy towards the war in Syria, according to Guardian. After Nov. 13, Paris terror attacks, France, citing self-defence under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, significantly intensified its airstrikes in Syria.