Syrian politician: Turkey should first withdraw its forces before any dialogue
As pressure on the Turkish government intensifies to restore diplomatic ties with Syria, officials from the war torn country continuously say Turkey has to withdraw its forces from the north of Syria, before any political talks begin.
The latest figure to voice Syria’s prerequisites has been Serif es-Sehade, a politician close to the Assad administration and former deputy of Syrian national assembly, who said there was groundwork to do before any attempt to form bilateral ties between Syria and Turkey.
“Turkey did not fall from the heavens, it is an occupier in Syria and should retreat from Syrian territories right away. That would lead to a dialogue. This is the first step. Turkey must leave Idlib and other areas of Syria,” he said, in a televised interview with Rudaw.
Turkey in June threatened a fresh offensive into Northern Syria to push Kurdish militants of US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which it deems terrorists to create what it calls a 30 km deep safe zone along its southern borders, but international pressure led Erdogan government to soften its tone and praise dialogue with its southern neighbor.
“Turkey stresses the need to fight against terror. ISIS, Nusra Front and all radical groups are also part of this terror,” El Sehadi said.
El Shehadi also called on the SDF to join regime forces and stop working with the US aiming to “divide the country and form an autonomous government”
“SDF cooperated with the US to capture a part of Syrian territory. Their aim is to establish a small state. If the SDF sees itself as belonging to Syria, the Syrian state will protect and defend them in every way. We are ready to protect anyone who sees himself as a Syrian. But if they continue their partnership with the US and aim to establish an independent state, we and the Syrian people will fight against them, regardless of Turkey. But if they stand with Syria, Arabas, Kurdish, we will all be united,” he said.