Syria welcomes India’s ‘deep concern’ over Turkish offensive

New Delhi: Syria on Monday welcomed India’s position on the military offensive by Turkey saying it appreciates New Delhi’s stand on the issue.

At the same time, Syria also hit out at Pakistan, saying a country which backs Turkey supports terror.

“On behalf of my government, we welcome the Indian statement on the Turkish invasion of Syria. We appreciate the Indian position,” Syrian Ambassador to India Riad Abbas told ANI.

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On October 10, India had expressed deep concerns about the unilateral military offensive by Turkey in north-east Syria, saying that Ankara’s actions can undermine “stability in the region” and has the potential for causing humanitarian and civilian distress.

“We are deeply concerned at the unilateral military offensive by Turkey in north-east Syria. Turkey’s actions can undermine stability in the region and the fight against terrorism. Its action also has the potential for causing humanitarian and civilian distress,” The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said in a statement.

India had also called on Turkey to exercise restraint, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, and urged for the peaceful settlement of all issues through dialogue and discussion.

Turkey on October 9 began its long-threatened military operation in north-east Syria to remove Kurdish-led forces from the border area. The move came days after the US announced it was withdrawing its troops from the region, leaving the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), without American military support.

Justifying the move to withdraw US forces, President Donald Trump condemned America’s military interventions in the Middle East, saying that the country has spent an estimated USD 8 trillion in “fighting and policing” in the region, and lost thousands of soldiers over the years.

Meanwhile, Abbas said that the Syrian government is fighting against terrorists on its soil while calling the Indian government a “strong government”.

The ambassador said he met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and discussed tackling cross-border terrorism and the situation in Syria.

“I met with the External Affairs Minister and discussed the current issues on Syria. We talked on how to defeat cross-border terrorism. We have received assurance and support from the Indian government regarding medical and food supplies, scholarship and other necessary requirements. The Indian government is a strong government. India’s voice is strong in the international arena,” he said.

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